Walter Michael Miller, Jr. (January 23 1923 – January 9 1996) was an
American science fiction author. Today he is primarily known for A
Canticle for Leibowitz, the only novel he published in his lifetime. Prior
to its publication he was a prolific writer of short stories.
.Check and Checkmate
Miller, Walter M.
Published: 1953 Categorie(s): Fiction, Science Fiction, Short Stories Source: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/32837
.About Miller: Walter Michael Miller, Jr. (January 23 1923 – January 9 1996) was an American science fiction author. Today he is primarily known for A Canticle for Leibowitz, the only novel he published in his lifetime. Prior to its publication he was a prolific writer of short stories.
The Horde of sleek ships arose in the west at twilight—gleaming slivers
that reflected the dying sun as they lanced across the darkling heavens.
A majestic fleet of squadrons in double-vees, groups in staggered
echelon, they crossed the sky like gleaming geese, and the children of
Earth came out of their whispering gardens to gape at the splendor that
marched above them.
There was fear, for no vessel out of space had crossed the skies of
Earth for countless generations, and the children of the planet had forgotten.
Old Donegal was dying. They had all known it was coming, and they watched it come—his haggard wife, his daughter, and now his grandson, home on emergency leave from the pre-astronautics academy. Old Donegal knew it too, and had known it from the beginning, when he had begun to lose control of his legs and was forced to walk with a cane. But most of the time, he pretended to let them keep the secret they shared with the doctors—that the operations had all been failures, and that the cancer that fed at his spine would gnaw its way brainward...
They all knew he was a spacer because of the white goggle marks on his sun-scorched face, and so they tolerated him and helped him. They even made allowances for him when he staggered and fell in the aisle of the bus while pursuing the harassed little housewife from seat to seat and cajoling her to sit and talk with him. Having fallen, he decided to sleep in the aisle. Two men helped him to the back of the bus, dumped him on the rear seat, and tucked his gin bottle safely out of sight. After all, he had not...