Wednesday, September 11, 2019


"The Near-Zero Crime Rate on JJ Avenue."
By Wilson Tucker (1914-2006).
Illustration by Janet Aulisio (HERE).
First appearance: Analog, April 1978.

Short story (14 pages).
Online at The Luminist Archive (HERE; scroll down to magazine page 53).
(Parental caution: Adult themes and strong language.)

     "Even in the field of law enforcement, if you can't beat them . . ."

"Trust no one" is good advice when you're on the run; unfortunately, it's all too easy to 
forget that . . .

~ The block patrolman:

  "Welcome to JJ Avenue, citizen Paro. This is a quiet family neighborhood with a near-zero crime rate . . ."
~ Solly Paro:
  "I ask for a woman and get a little girl."
~ Stevie:
  "Thirty or forty seconds if you're lucky, Loverpops. I guess you were lucky."

Comment: Like our author, people have been confusing overcrowding with overpopulation, and the much-anticipated population bomb has yet to explode.

Typo: "kept his eyes shot".

- The term "waldo," meaning a "remote manipulator," originated with a Robert Heinlein story (Wikipedia; HERE; SPOILERS), although in our story the author uses it loosely to mean a robot's arm; also see the Wikipedia article (HERE).
- Our latest story featuring robot law enforcement officers is "Brillo" (HERE).

~ ~ ~
By Wilson Tucker (1914-2006).
First appearance: Universe Science Fiction, November 1954 (as "MCMLV").

Reprinted in Suspense (U.K.), August 1958.
Short story (13 pages).
Online at (HERE).

     "There, in print, was a concise summary of millions of secret words!"

If a little man with a walrus moustache and a cheerful demeanor should ring your doorbell, 
do not, under any circumstances, answer it . . .

~ Henry Mason (a.k.a. Cary Carew):

  "My neighbours are always watching me. They think I'm eccentric. Camouflage. It lends 
an aura of glamour and mystery to my activities . . ."
~ Inspector Arthur Groves, of Scotland Yard:
  "Between the enemy spy and Dan Devlin, several cats were let out of the bag in that one."
~ Clark, of the Special Branch:
  "I hope you've got a good alibi."

~ The salesman:
  "Mr. Carew, you may well pride yourself on your advanced mental faculties."

- "Very well—if he was being sent to the Tower he would go with head high," a reference to the Tower of London (Wikipedia; HERE)—very noble of Henry, although, as we're told, "The Tower's reputation for torture and imprisonment derives largely from 16th-century religious propagandists and 19th-century romanticists. . . . much of the Tower's reputation is exaggerated . . ." Henry also mentions "my Woomera story," referring to a high-technology research installation in Australia that in those days was called the "Woomera Rocket Range" (Wikipedia; HERE): "During the 1950s and 1960s, the complex was the second busiest rocket range in the world next to Cape Canaveral." And at the time our story takes place, Britain's newest Prime Minister had just assumed office (Wikipedia; HERE): "Maurice Harold Mac-millan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC, FRS (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was a British Conservative statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963."
More resources:
- There's plenty to read about Arthur Ingold Wilson Tucker on the Wide World Web: 
Wikipedia (HERE), the SFE (HERE), the Fancyclopedia (HERE), Midamericon (HERE), Printsations (HERE), and the ISFDb (HERE).
- Tucker also produced a healthy amount of novel-length crime fiction, some of it 
with his series character, Charles Horne (data and cover images from the ISFDb):
~ Charles Horne Mysteries:
  (1) The Chinese Doll (1946)
  (2) To Keep or Kill (1947)
  (3) The Dove (1948)
  (4) The Stalking Man (1949)
  (5) Red Herring (1951)
~ Other novels:
  (1) The Man in My Grave (1956)
  (2) The Hired Target (1957)
  (3) Last Stop (1963)
  (4) A Procession of the Damned (1965)
  (5) The Warlock (1967)

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