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By Barry B. Longyear

2 hundred years previous, a circus starship is stranded on this planet Momus. lately chanced on by way of the remainder of the galaxy, the inhabitants of Momus the rest descendants of the unique circus needs to care for interstellar strength politics and conflict, they usually accomplish that of their personal exact approach.

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All of it in a second’s glance. God bless, too, the gentlemen who thought up the idea of these little rescue stations, stuck all over the place for just such emergencies as this. He had started to walk across the room. It was at this point that the service robot, that kept the place in repair between tenants and unloaded supplies from the ships, had moved clankingly across the floor, and with one fearful smash of a steel arm thrown Terrence across the room. The spaceman had been brought up short against the steel bulkhead, pain blossoming in his back, his side, his arms and legs.

It was my first professional sale and I was twenty-one years old. There was an English professor named Shedd at Ohio State University in 1954. He told me I had no talent, could not write, ought to forget ever trying to make a living from the craft of writing, and that even if I did manage to eke out some sort of low-level existence through dint of sheer, dogged persistence, I would never write anything of consequence, would never make a name for myself, and would sink into the dust of oblivion justifiably forgotten by lovers of properly constructed literature.

It had come to him... He paused in his moonlit hurrying and tried to bring the scene back into sharper focus. Yes, it had been when he had gone into the computer room of the ship. When he had first seen the vessel, he had tried to liberate equipment he could jerry-rig in a copter, but the parts were all heavy-poured-molded and none of them would have fit a small vehicle. So he had abandoned the ship. What good was it? The weeks following, he remembered, had been singularly annoying. More than just the emptiness of sole ownership of a whole world, those weeks had disturbed him with a thought just beneath the level of recognition.

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