By Stephen Goldin
A misplaced vintage of technology fiction.
Birk Aaland is a political outcast from Earth's tyranny, and has been residing for years on a planet inhabited completely through robots, ever given that his send crashed here.
Now one other send has crashed, and there's back a unmarried survivor—a girl who's wanting to warn Earth of an alien invasion.
But Birk is completely proud of his present exile—until a accident intervenes, inflicting each one of them to think again their lives and their overall existence.
"The tale profits an emotionality that justifies calling Goldin an artist, now not in simple terms a writer." —Tom Easton, Analog Magazine
Originally released 1981 through Doubleday.
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It was impossible to tell from the back who it was, though he suspected from the stance and the shape that it was Reva, betraying him yet another time. But then, even as he watched, the figure changed, shifted, became shorter, rounder, stockier…. He always woke himself up at that point, driving the feelings from his mind. He did not want to face what that image might become, did not want to admit there could be more rejection ahead of him. In some ways, that was harder to face than the prospect of being alone the rest of his life.
The Black City, more than any other single locale, represented the tragedy of what this world had become. According to Arthur, the Black City had been constructed as a town of remembrance and memorial. War, destruction, and death had become so ingrained in the Makers’ character that it was only natural for a place to be set aside exclusively for grieving. The Black City was where people from all over the world who’d lost loved ones could come to experience a healing catharsis. Here they were cared for and received sympathy, both from fellow mourners and from the local inhabitants who survived off others’ grief.
Here he was, eleven years out of touch with human civilization. He hadn’t thought about his age in years, but it hit him just now that he was forty-seven years old, while she was in her twenties. The difference in their generations was a larger gap than he’d realized at first. What could he possibly offer her? What would she see in him? ” “Is ... is that wise? There might be complications. ” “I am assured that such a thing is most unlikely. The medical robots are bringing over all the monitoring equipment they will need to measure her progress, as well as any emergency gear, but those things are purely precautionary.