Speak to me only in Science Fiction

From now on, there will be chaos in the star systems.

Of course the irony did not escape Hari – that he had spent his time as First Minister of the Empire smothering revolutions, and making sure that his successors would continue quashing all so-called “chaos worlds,” whenever those raging social upheavals threatened the human-social equilibrium. But these new rebellions that his followers must foment at the Periphery would be different. Led by ambitious local gentry, seeking to augment their own royal grandeur, these insurrections would be classical in every way, fitting the equations with smooth precision.

He’d seen unequivocally that the chaos he’d dedicated his life to holding at bay was stronger and wider and more powerful than he would ever be.

Mr. Advocate, the rotten tree-trunk, until the very moment when the storm-blast breaks it in two, has all the appearance of might it ever had. The storm-blast whistles through the branches of the Empire even now. Listen with the ears of psychohistory, and you will hear the creaking.

Will you follow me into fire, into storm, into darkness, into death?

“Yes—to a point. And do not ask me what that point may be. I do not know yet. But . . . this much I can promise you, Michael Stearns. So long as I retain confidence that you can control the situation, I will do as you say.”

I have to face the fear. I have to take control of the situation and find a way to make it less frightening.

But he no longer feared the fear! It was not something to run from, that fear, but something to fight

You think you’re the only one who gets scared sometimes? Ever since we separated, there’s been this deafening silence inside my head, where you used to be. And it terrifies me. It’s why I’ve been so desperate to put us back together. Why I got so upset when you broke the Matrix.

The curtain rises. Thandi’s thought was more grim than amused. We begin with the baddies in a very desperate situation. Manpower bigshots and goons, bound and helpless, surrounded by their victims. Eight of whom are killers dedicated to their destruction.

Victor Cachat lifted his pulser out of its holster.

And a very desperate situation just got worse.

Way, way, way, way worse.

Particle beam in a wristwatch; snake holster on the leg.

The Wunderland Treatymaker was used only once. It was a gigantic version of what is commonly a mining tool: a disintegrator that fires a beam to suppress the charge on the electron. Where a disintegrator beam falls, solid matter is rendered suddenly and violently positive. It tears itself into a fog of monatomic particles.

She figured that the main problem in physics is physicists, that most of them are caught in a mind trap because they’re so used to things being made of smaller things. So they instinctively believe that reality, at its most basic level, must be made up of and regulated by almost infinitely small elementary particles.

I have a theory. Where is the beginning or the end of the eternal All I have been traversing? Suppose there is none? Suppose that, after traversing a few more atomic cycles, I should enter a universe which seemed somehow familiar to me; and that I should enter a certain familiar galaxy, and approach a certain sun, a certain planet—and find that I was back where I started from so long ago: back on my own planet, where I should find the Professor in the laboratory still receiving my sound and sight impressions!! An insane theory; an im­possible one. It shall never be.