Wednesday, July 31, 2019

"We're Like a Bunch of Vultures Awaiting the Faltering Step of the Desert Wanderer"

"Blind Time."
By George O. Smith (1911-81).
Illustrations by Swenson (HERE).
First appearance: Astounding Science Fiction, September 1946.

Reprints page (HERE).
Collected in The Worlds of George O. (1982).

Short story (14 pages).
Online at (HERE).

     "It's blind time, and there is nothing we can do about it."

The men at the Oak Tool Works are having a problem with accidents—the same ones that they know with absolute certainty are going to happen . . . again . . .

~ Edwin Porter, the President of Interplanetary Industrial Insurance (I.I.I.):

  "Go prepared for anything from simple abrasion to loss of limb. I doubt the possibility of death, but—."
~ Peter Wright:
  "There came a stabbing pain, and Peter whirled with a wordless scream. The shock was searing."
~ Joe Simpkins:
  "Just try to hire men for a plant that can't be insured by your outfit. They'll ask a thousand credits a day."
~ Ben:
  "It's the uncertain certainty—the wondering just which one of us gets caught in the certain accident."

Typos: "I can't tak it"; "the loading deck".
- The usual sources have info about George Oliver Smith: Wikipedia (HERE), the SFE (HERE), and the ISFDb bibliography (HERE).
- Our story has an industrial background, where, believe it or not, accidents have been known to happen, which eventually require the involvement of an insurance claims adjuster (HERE; Wikipedia); a lot of industries like the one in the story call for the use of rivets (HERE; Wiki-pedia) installed with rivet guns (HERE; Wikipedia), as well as drills (HERE; Wikipedia) employ-ed in drilling (HERE; Wikipedia).
- It has been well over two years since we first considered some of Smith's fiction: "The Undetected" (HERE), a story of psi powers and a locked room murder.

The bottom line:

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