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2.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  52 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
You can do a great deal if you have enough data, and enough time to compute on it, by logical methods. But given the situation that neither data nor time is adequate, and an answer must be produced ... what do you do?
Kindle Edition
Published (first published August 1955)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 72)
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Norm Davis
Jan 28, 2014 Norm Davis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 1955 Astounding science fiction fans
Recommended to Norm by: Librovox site browsing
Shelves: science-fiction
One Shot / James Blish 1955 Astounding Science Fiction

Another old science fiction story complete with the misses 65 years of hindsight can provide. It wasn't terribly impressive, even for when it was written, which kind of surprised me as James Blish is one of notable science fiction writers of any era.

The story, to me, was just unbelievable and the use of words to describe things... like 'the egg' had me rather confused until I put together that it meant a bomb. This egg “problem” gets turned
Jan 30, 2011 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Science fiction is all about taking current trends and extending them out to see what could happen. Short sci-fi published in the 50's and 60's now often seems odd or bizarre now that we're looking back at a time they were still looking forward to.

First published in 1955 and now freely available from gutenberg etc, this story is interesting because the authour got so many things right. Computers are increasingly important, and public companies are often taking over roles reserved for government
David Johnston
Mar 05, 2015 David Johnston rated it it was ok
I'll give it a star for an early raising of the issue of ticking nuke scenario. No more than that. The resolution to the situation is just stupid.
Mar 03, 2014 Jackie rated it did not like it
I found this one rather boring. The story revolves around a CIA man who is hired to determine if there is a bomb. He gets a gambler to way the odds.
Jan 05, 2015 Alex rated it it was ok
This is a bit of Cold War era science fiction that delves into probability and human instincts. It hasn't aged rather well, so I would recommend checking out The Box by Blish for a better example of Cold War SF.

Merely an ok short story. Not all that memorable.
Dione Basseri
A pretty silly piece. The cover really makes it out to be way more serious than it is. Like, this could easily be adapted into an SNL sketch.

The government calls in a champion gambler to tell them if the giant egg in the harbor is a bomb or not.

Yes. It's that ridiculous.

There's not much else I can say without giving the ending away. But go ahead, check it out, you can get an audio production of this free from the StarShipSofa.
Feb 08, 2012 Jose rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, sci-fi
I was curious about the author, since we wrote some initial Star Trek scripts and books, but this child of his is too much of its own time.
Communists, ESP and VACs, it tastes a little moldy.

It's interesting to the historians but i really prefer the future in my sci-fi, not the past.

The story in itself is pretty simple and uninteresting.
Oh well, 5 minutes of my life...
Ralph McEwen
A interesting short story, with twist at the end.
The story is told in a conversational style.

The narrator is well spoken and his voice is clear and easy to listen to.
The recording is clean with out any background noises,there is plenty of volume and the editing is seamless.
Feb 08, 2012 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This short story was originally published in 1955, and can now be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg. It's a fairly undistinguished piece of near-future (for the time) sci-fi but shows some of the themes Blish would come to focus on in his later stories, such as ESP.
Lunara Alder
Dec 10, 2013 Lunara Alder rated it it was ok
I didn't like this much. It's dated (in a bad way), and I found it dull. However, it could just not be my cup of tea. The writing itself, however, was rather good, so there's a plus.
Jun 25, 2009 Chris rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks, short
Cute prognostication piece in an alternate universe, but it hasn't aged well.
Joseph marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2016
B.  Barron
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Michael Grogan rated it it was ok
May 06, 2016
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Mar 09, 2016
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Krishna Stacy rated it it was amazing
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Chip Follett
Chip Follett rated it it was ok
Dec 17, 2015
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James Benjamin Blish (East Orange, New Jersey, May 23, 1921 – Henley-on-Thames, July 30, 1975) was an American author of fantasy and science fiction. Blish also wrote literary criticism of science fiction using the pen-name William Atheling Jr.

In the late 1930's to the early 1940's, Blish was a member of the Futurians.

Blish trained as a biologist at Rutgers and Columbia University, and spent 1942–
More about James Blish...

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