Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"The Flash of the Gun Disclosed the Other's Startled Face; the Gunsound Was Like a Snarl of Rage"

"The Intruder."
By Oliver Saari (1918-2000).
First appearance: Startling Stories, April 1952.
Reprinted in Startling Stories (U.K.), August 1952.
Short story (11 pages).
Online at Archive.org (HERE).
"To have an exact duplicate of yourself show up and take over your business, your wife? . . . brother, it's murder!"
If you're T. J. Baldwin, the head of Transstellar, you're used to getting what you want, and you brook no interference from anybody—but that's just the problem: There's another person identifying himself as T. J. Baldwin, and he won't brook any interference either, not even from the other T. J. Baldwin—and that, friends, is a recipe for homicide . . .
Typo: "trying to reach the stairs" [should be stars]

- You can find more about Oliver Saari at the Fancyclopedia (HERE) and the ISFDb (HERE).
- A star known as Proxima Centauri figures largely as a plot device in our story; see Wikipedia for more about Proxima in fact (HERE) and fiction (HERE).
- The central character in a popular TV series faced a similar dilemma; see Wikipedia (HERE) (Spoiler warning: Full plot description).
- Some people can't get along with themselves even when they inhabit the same body; see (HERE) for the classic example of that.

The bottom line: "I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy."

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