Sunday, November 6, 2016

"It Would Be an Easy and Natural Thing for a Man to Die on an Alien World, Even a Man Like Elmore . . ."

"Planet of the Duplicates."
By William Lawrence Hamling (born 1921).
First appearance: Amazing Stories, December 1945.
Short story (11 pages).
Online at (HERE).
"It was going to be easy to murder Barton Elmore and get away with it. There he stood; but which of him to shoot?"
From The Killer's Handbook, Rule No. 1: "If you intend to murder somebody, for your own safety and convenience make sure there is only one of him . . ."

~ Steve Mercer, pilot of the starship Voyager and assistant to Barton Elmore:
   "Money. All the money he would want. Power. All the power he would want."
~ Barton Elmore, Head Physicist at the Astrophysics Institute:
   "Steve, we've hit a world where simulacra is running wild!"

- You can read all about our author William Lawrence Hamling and his works at Wikipedia (HERE), Fancyclopedia (HERE), the SFE (HERE), and the ISFDb (HERE); there's an interview with Hamling at eFanzines (HERE).
Sirius B is the smaller blue star on the right.
- Our characters get to Sirius B (HERE) using something called the "Inter-Spacial Drive"; see Atomic Rockets (HERE) for a comprehensive review of SFnal FTL spaceflight ("Space opera with no StarDrive is like chocolate cake without the chocolate")—and don't overlook Geoffrey Landis's definitive Canonical List of StarDrives.
William Lawrence Hamling (standing, left) and wife Frances (seated, right). That's Willy Ley (standing, right) and wife Olga (seated, left). At the 1951 World Science Fiction Convention in New Orleans. Photograph by Ben Jason, provided by John L. Coker III.

The bottom line:
   I have no spur  
   To prick the sides of my intent, but only  
   Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself  
   And falls . . .
   — Macbeth

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