A Wreath of Stars by Bob Shaw

By Bob Shaw

Paradoxically, for Gilbert Snook - who thought of himself the human similar of a neutrino, a particle in a position to go back and forth throughout the Earth with no worrying the other particle - it began with the panic that the sighting of the anti-neutrino planet because it approached Earth. Earth was once unaffected yet Snook ended up in a small African Republic instructing English to diamond miners. Then the miners all started seeing ghosts and Snook came upon himself on the centre of a strange and far-reaching clinical discovery - and in the midst of a few very soiled political infighting.

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Zannez has unlimbered all his gear. Cory goes over to the inspection group, her eyes carefully averted from Hanno and Snake. "I must say you four are terrific good sports," she says. "You've no idea how much this means. Kip and I were going to have to nerve ourselves ... " Her voice trails off embarrassedly. "Absolutely," Kip agrees. " "I guess this is the only worthwhile stripping I've ever done," says Stareem. " One of the new elders is twittering incomprehensible Galactic and gesturing to her.

And my mother and every one of her family were dark, too. And all but one were type A-plus. " She runs her hand roughly through the glorious hair that has ruined her life, and tears well again in the blazing blue eyes. "And I'm B—B-neg ... "And I wasn't multitalented—they test you practically from birth—in fact I wasn't talented at all, except at ... uh ... " "But ... " Baramji gropes wildly. "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but even mothers have been known to have affairs—" "No way. And especially after spending all those credits—it was her money.

But someone must have been up to something, because that's a strange thing to find out. "Later it was discovered—gods know how—that if you fermented and distilled the stuff, you got a liqueur that wasn't just a nice drink; it was superlative, literally out of the worlds. It had psychoactive properties, you see, it produced a real happiness—with no side effects or hangovers. It's been described as being better than heaven because you didn't have to die. Heaven for a shilling, as some old writer said—call it our quarter credit.

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