A Bit on the Side by William Trevor

By William Trevor

William Trevor is really a Chekhov for our age, and a brand new number of tales from him is often a reason for social gathering. In those twelve tales, a waiter divulges a stunning lifetime of crime to his ex-wife; a girl repeats the tale of her parents’ volatile marriage after a terrible tragedy; a schoolgirl regrets gossiping concerning the cuckolded guy who tutors her; and, within the volume’s name tale, a middle-aged accountant deals his purposes for finishing a love affair. on the center of this gorgeous assortment is Trevor’s attribute tenderness and unflinching eye for either the humanizing and dehumanizing points of recent city and rural existence.

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He had judged well. With the cadmium safety-rods bent back into uselessness, the micropiles had plunged past the unit-sustaining safety level and the ship had vanished in the heat of the nuclear explosion that had followed. Twenty minutes later, he was back on his property. He was tired and his muscles ached under Earth's gravity. He slept well. Twelve hours later, in the earliest dawn, the police came. * * * The man who opened the door placed his crossed hands over his paunch and ducked his smiling head two or three times in greeting.

Unlicensed miners aren't even allowed to carry counters. ' 'No maybe at all. You should have seen them standing around me while I watched the silicony, ready to jump me if I said one funny word. ' Hawkins brushed his unshaven chin with his hand and made a mental estimate of the time it would take him to shave. ' 'Keep him! ' 'What! Then what the devil is all this talk about ? ' 'Three guys,' said Vernadsky patiently, 'each one bigger than I am, each one armed, and each one ready to kill, I'll bet.

Not telepathy at all. ' 'Okay. ' asked Hawkins. But he was growing thoughtful 'Now this. Urth says there isn't enough gamma radiation on any asteroid to support siliconies more than an inch or two long. Not enough radioactivity. ' 'Well——' 'So it has to come from an asteroid just riddled with the stuff, lousy with uranium, solid with gamma rays. An asteroid with enough radioactivity to be warm to the touch and off the regular orbit patterns so that no one's come across it. Only suppose some smart boy landed on the asteroid by happenstance and noticed the warmth of the rocks and got to thinking.

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