LOU SAHADI, Editor – An Argosy Special: Science Fiction. One-shot reprint magazine. Popular Publications, 1977.

#3. LEIGH BRACKETT “Child of the Green Light.” Short story. First published in Super Science Stories<, February 1942; reprinted in the April 1951 issue. Reprinted in Classic Science Fiction: The First Golden Age, edited by Terry Carr (Harper & Row, hardcover, 1978). First collected in Martian Quest: The Early Brackett (Haffner Press, hardcover, 2002).

   There are science fiction stories so vast in scale it is next to impossible for the human mind to comprehend them, and even though this tale takes place within the orbit of Mercury in our own solar system, this is one of them.

   Son is a living creature — a mutation, perhaps — capable of existing in space without protection, the only living being in a junkyard of wrecked ships that his own space craft is part of. Nearby and at the center of this story is the Light, burning green in color, and the Veil, on the other side of which is Aona, a creature such as himself but obviously female.

   Coming to investigate the Light is, for the first time in a place where time and aging have no meaning, is a ship of seven humans and other intelligent aliens. It seems that a Cloud has passed through the solar system, changing the metabolism of all the creatures it touched. Destroying the Light is the only means of survival for billions of people.

   What has happened to Son to make him the being that he is? Is there any way for him to cross through the Veil to become part of the parallel universe where Aona is? And what about the one of the seven who sees Son as someone with powers that, if had them and the Light were destroyed, could rule the solar system?

   Whew! One thing you can say about this story is that has a cosmic Sense of Wonder, the secret ingredient of stories such as this one, and is the absolute epitome of Super Science.


Previously from this Lou Sahadi anthology: CHAD OLIVER “The Land of Lost Content.”