G.B.S. - Mark V, 1976
"Charlie! Where you going?"
Members of the rocket crew, passing, called.
Charles Willis did not answer.
He took the vacuum tube down through the friendly humming bowels of the spaceship. He fell, thinking: This is the grand hour.
"Chuck! Where travelling?" someone called.
To meet someone dead but alive, cold but warm, forev-er untouchable but reaching out somehow to touch.
The voice echoed. He smiled.
Then he saw Clive, his best friend, drifting up in the opposite chute. He averted his gaze, but Clive sang out through his seashell ear-pack radio:
G.B.S.: Refurbishing the Tin Woodman: Science Fiction with a Heart, a Brain, and the Nerve! (essay), 1997
Gallagher the Great, 2008
The Garbage Collector, 1953
This is how his work was: He got up at five in the cold dark morning and washed his face with warm water if the heater was working and cold water if the heater was not working. He shaved carefully, talking out to his wife in the kitchen, who was fixing ham and eggs or pancakes or whatever it was that morning. By six o'clock he was driving on his way to work alone, and parking his car in the big yard where all the other men parked their cars as the sun was coming up. The colors of the sky that time of morning were orange and blue violet and sometimes very red and sometimes yellow or a clear color like water on white rock. Some mornings he could see his breath on the air and some mornings he could not. But as the sun was still rising he knocked his fist on the side of the green truck, and his driver, smiling and saying hello, would climb in the other side of the truck and they would drive out into the great city and go down all the streets until they came to the place where they started work. Sometimes, on the way, they stopped for black coffee and then went on, the warmness in them. And they began the work which meant that he jumped off in front of each house and picked up the garbage cans and brought them back and took off their lids and knocked them against the bin edge, which made the orange peels and cantaloupe rinds and coffee grounds fall out and thump down and begin to fill the empty truck. There were always steak bones and the heads of fish and pieces of green onion and state celery. If the garbage was new it wasn't so bad, but if it was very old it was bad. He was not sure if he liked the job or not, but it was a job and he did it well, talking about it a lot at some times and sometimes not thinking of it in any way at all. Some days the job was wonderful, for you were out early and the air was cool and fresh until you had worked too long and the sun got hot and the garbage steamed early. But mostly it was a job significant enough to keep him busy and calm and looking at the houses and cut lawns he passed by and seeing how everybody lived. And once or twice a month he was surprised to find that he loved the job and that it was the finest job in the world.
Getting Through Sunday Somehow, 1962
The Ghost in the Machine, 1996
The talk in the village in the year 1853 was, of course, about the madman above, in his sod-and-brick hut, with an untended garden and a wife who had fled, silent about his madness, never to return.
The people of the village had never drunk enough courage to go see what the special madness was or why the wife had vanished, tear-stained, leaving a vacuum into which atmospheres had rushed to thunder-clap.
On a sweltering hot day with no cloud to offer shadow comfort and no threat of rain to cool man or beast, the Searcher arrived. Which is to say, Dr. Mortimer Goff, a man of many parts, most of them curious and self-serving, but also traveling the world for some baroque event, or miraculous revelation.
The Ghosts, 1950
The Gift, 1959
The Golden Apples of the Sun, 1953
"South," said the captain.
"But," said his crew, "there simply aren't any directions out here in space."
"When you travel on down toward the sun," replied the captain, "and everything gets yellow and warm and lazy, then you're going in one direction only." He shut his eyes and thought about the smoldering, warm, faraway land, his breath moving gently in his mouth. "South." He nodded slowly to himself. "South."
Their rocket was the Copa de Oro, also named the Prometheus and the Icarus and their destination in all reality was the blazing noonday sun. In high good spirits they had packed along two thousand sour lemonades and a thousand white-capped beers for this journey to the wide Sahara. And now as the sun boiled up at them they remembered a score of verses and quotations:
The Golden Kite, The Silver Wind, 1953
"In the shape of a pig?' cried the Mandarin.
"In the shape of a pig," said the messenger, and departed.
"Oh, what an evil day in an evil year," cried the Mandarin. "The town of Kwan-Si, beyond the hill, was very small in my childhood. Now it has grown so large that at last they are building a wall."
"But why should a wall two miles away make my good father sad and angry all within the hour?" asked his daughter quietly.
"They build their wall," said the Mandarin, "in the shape of a pig! Do you see? Our own city wall is built in the shape of an orange. Thai pig will devour us, greedily!"
Good-by Grandma (из "Вина из одуванчиков"), ?
Grand Theft, 1995
The Great Collision of Monday Last (из "Зелёные тени, белый кит"), ?
The Great Fire, 1949
The Great Wide World Over There, 1952
Green Wine for Dreaming (из "Вина из одуванчиков"), ?