Monday, October 31, 2016

"Is It Conceivable That at One Crucial Moment, He Managed to Think Quickly and Act at Once?"

"The Billiard Ball."
By Isaac Asimov (1920-92).
First appearance: Worlds of IF, March 1967.
Reprinted many times (HERE), including Asimov's Mysteries (1968).
Short story (18 pages).
Online (HERE).
"What's more, both played for blood, and there was no friendship in the game that I could see."
Possibly—and we emphasize that word—the most sophisticated murder . . . ever.

Main characters:
~ Professor James Priss, theoretician:
   "Of course, Ed Bloom is not really a scientist, and he must have his day in the sun."
~ Edward Bloom, inventor:
   "Listen, I'll tell you what gripes him. Plain old-fashioned jealousy. It kills him that I get what I get for doing. He wants it for thinking."
~ The Tele-News Press reporter:
   ". . . if any reporter then on the scene ever tried to say he remained a cool observer of that scene, then he's a cool liar."
- Wikipedia has a short article about anti-gravity (HERE), and one about our story (HEREWARNING: SPOILERS); Atomic Rockets has a very large page devoted to anti-gravity (HERE).
- We've already spent some time with Isaac Asimov (HERE) and (HERE).

The bottom line: "Gravity is a contributing factor in nearly 73 percent of all accidents involving falling objects."
Dave Barry

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