R Is For Rocket, 1962
1. R Is for Rocket, 1946
2. The End of the Beginning, 1956
He stopped the lawn mower in the middle of the yard, because he felt that the sun at just that moment had gone down and the stars had come out. The fresh-cut grass that had showered his face and body died softly away. Yes, the stars were there, faint at first, but brightening in the clear desert sky. He heard the porch screen door tap shut and felt his wife watching him as he watched the night.
'Almost time,' she said.
He nodded; he did not have to check his watch. In the passing moments he felt very old, then very young, very cold, then very warm, now this, now that. Suddenly he was miles away. He imagined he was his own son talking steadily, moving briskly to cover his pounding heart and the resurgent panics as he felt himself slip into fresh uniform, check food supplies, oxygen flasks, pressure helmet, space-suiting, and turn as every man on Earth tonight turned, to gaze at the swiftly filling sky.
4. The Fog Horn, 1951
Out there in the cold water, far from land, we waited every night for the coming of the fog, and it came, and we oiled the brass machinery and lit the fog light up in the stone tower. Feeling like two birds in the gray sky, McDunn and I sent the light touching out, red, then white, then red again, to eye the lonely ships. And if they did not see our light, then there was always our Voice, the great deep cry of our Fog Horn shuddering through the rags of mist to startle the gulls away like decks of scattered cards and make the waves turn high and foam.
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2. The Rocket, 1950
Many nights Fiorello Bodoni would awaken to hear the rockets sighing in the dark sky. He would tiptoe from bed, certain that his kind wife was dreaming, to let himself out into the night air. For a few moments he would be free of the smells of old food in the small house by the river. For a silent moment he would let his heart soar alone into space, following the rockets.
Now, this very night, he stood half naked in the darkness, watching the fire fountains murmuring in the air. The rockets on their long wild way to Mars and Saturn and Venus!
3. The Rocket Man, 1951
The electrical fireflies were hovering above Mother's dark hair to light her path. She stood in her bedroom door looking out at me as I passed in the silent hall. "You will help me keep him here this time, won't you?" she asked.
"I guess so," I said.
"Please." The fireflies cast moving bits of light on her white face. "This time he mustn't go away again."
"All right," I said, after standing there a moment. "But it won't do any good; it's no use."
She went away, and the fireflies, on their electric circuits, fluttered after her like an errant constellation, showing her how to walk in darkness. I heard her say, faintly, "We've got to try, anyway."
6. 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:
5. A Sound of Thunder, 1952
The sign on the wall seemed to quaver under a film of sliding warm water. Eckels felt his eyelids blink over his stare, and the sign burned in this momentary darkness:
TIME SAFARI, INC.
Warm phlegm gathered in Eckels' throat; he swallowed and pushed it down. The muscles around his mouth formed a smile as he put his hand slowly out upon the air, and in that hand waved a check for ten thousand dollars to the man behind the desk.
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8. The Long Rain, 1946
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9. The Exiles, 1949
Their eyes were fire and the breath flamed out the witches' mouths as they bent to probe the caldron with greasy stick and bony finger.
"When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain?"
They danced drunkenly on the shore of an empty sea, fouling the air with their three tongues, and burning it with their cats eyes malevolently aglitter:
"Round about the cauldron go;
8. Here There Be Tygers, 1951
"You have to beat a planet at its own game," said Chatterton. "Get in, rip it up, poison its animals, dam its rivers, sow its fields, depollinate its air, mine it, nail it down, hack away at it, and get the hell out from under when you have what you want. Otherwise, a planet will fix you good. You can't trust planets. They're bound to be different, bound to be bad, bound to be out to get you, especially this far off, a billion miles from nowhere, so you get them first. Tear their skin off, I say. Drag out the minerals and run away before the damn world explodes in your face. That's the way to treat them."
2. The Strawberry Window, 1954
3. The Dragon, 1955
The night blew in the short grass on the moor; there was no other motion. It had been years since a single bird had flown by in the great blind shell of sky. Long ago a few small stones had simulated life when they crumbled and fell into dust. Now only the night moved in the souls of the two men bent by their lonely fire in the wilderness; darkness pumped quietly in their veins and ticked silently in their temples and their wrists.
Firelight fled up and down their wild faces and welled in their eyes in orange tatters. They listened to each other's faint, cool breathing and the lizard blink of their eyelids. At last, one man poked the fire with his sword.
3. The Gift, 1959
4. Frost and Fire, 1946
5. Uncle Einar, 1947
It will take only a minute," said Uncle Einar's sweet wife.
"I refuse," he said. "And that takes but a _second_."
"I've worked all morning," she said, holding to her slender back, "and you won't help? It's drumming for a rain."
"Let it rain," he cried, morosely. "I'll not be pierced by lightning just to air your clothes."
"But you're so quick at it."
"Again, I refuse." His vast tarpaulin wings hummed nervously behind his indignant back.
She gave him a slender rope on which were tied four dozen fresh-washed clothes. He turned it in his fingers with distaste. "So it's come to this," he muttered, bitterly. "To this, to this, to this." He almost wept angry and acid tears.
8. The Time Machine (из "Вина из одуванчиков"), ?
9. The Sound of Summer Running (из "Вина из одуванчиков"), ?