The Airs of Earth

By Brian W. Aldiss

Contents:

    [li]A type of Artistry[/li]
    [li]How to be a Soldier[/li]
    [li]Basis for Negotiation[/li]
    [li]Shards[/li]
    [li]‘O Moon of My Delight!’[/li]
    [li]The foreign Smile[/li]
    [li]The video game of God[/li]
    [li]Old Hundredth[/li]

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Trembling, he clamped his fume-mask over his face, guard­ing himself opposed to the poisonous gases generated through the F. T. L. ’s passage. Tears nonetheless ran down his face as limply he became to make his as far back as the highland farm. ‘ “Kiss of demise, include of flame . . . ”‘ he muttered to himself as he climbed aboard his tractor; yet nonetheless the elusive picture he fairly sought after didn't come. In a north-facing fold of hills lay the farmhouse, burrowed deeply into the granite simply in case of injuries. Murragh’s headlights washed over it. Its outhouses have been terraced under it, lined pen after coated pen, all now filled with Farmer Doughty’s sheep, locked in as continually in the course of access time; no longer a unmarried animal might be allowed outdoors whilst the F. T. L. s got here down. every little thing lay nonetheless as Murragh drove up in his tractor. Even the sheep have been silent, crouching mutely lower than the jack-in-a-box darkish. now not a chicken flew, now not an insect sparked into the headlights; such lifestyles had nearly died out throughout the 4 hun­dred years the Flange were in operation. The poisonous gases rarely inspired fecundity in nature. quickly Tandy itself may well upward push to polish down on its earth­like moment moon. The planet Tandy was once a gasoline large as gigantic as Jupiter, a gorgeous item whilst it rose into Tandy Two’s skies, yet uninhabitable and unapproachable. Tandy One both was once no longer a secure position for humans. however the moment satellite tv for pc, Tandy , used to be a steady global with light seasons and an oxygen-nitrogen surroundings. humans lived on Tandy , enjoyed, hated, struggled, aspired there as on any of the multitudinous civilized planets within the galaxy, with this distinction: that simply because there has been anything person approximately Tandy , there has been anything person approximately its difficulties. The southern hemisphere of Tandy was once useless lower than vacuum; the northern existed generally for the massive terminal cities of Blerion, landing, and Ma-Gee-Neh. except the towns, there has been not anything yet grass, grass and lakes and silicone wilderness stretching to the pole. And by means of courtesy an occasional sheep farm used to be allowed at the grasslands. ‘What a satellite tv for pc! ’ Murragh stated, hiking from the tractor. Admiration sounded in his voice. He was once a curious guy, Murragh Harrison—but I’ll keep on with truth and allow you to under­stand what you'll. He driven during the spaced double doorways that served the Doughty farmstead as a crude airlock whilst the gases have been within the air. within the living-eating-cooking room past, Colin Doughty himself stood by way of the C. V. staring at its colors absently. He appeared up as Murragh got rid of his face-mask. ‘Good night, Murragh,’ he acknowledged with heavy jocularity. ‘Great to determine so great a morning by way of so great an evening with out rather a lot as a bloody sundown in among. ’ ‘You may be used to the procedure via now,’ Murragh mur­mured, striking his binoculars along with his jacket within the A. -G. cabinet. After being by myself within the overwhelming presence of Tandy, it usually took him a second to regulate to humans back. ‘So I may still, so I should still. Fourteen years and that i nonetheless see crimson to imagine how males have bollixed approximately with one among God’s worlds.

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