Science Fiction Short Story Review: "A Transmutation of Muddles" by H. B. Fyfe

@msiduri (5757)
United States
July 17, 2016 8:44am CST
Louis Mayne, retired space captain, has just landed in a scoutship outside a village on Kappa Orionis VII. He’s known for his horse-trading abilities, but this may be beyond even his expertise. He’s come to negotiate for the release of the ship Gemsbok (an antelope from South Africa. Not sure of or if there is a significance.) In addition to negotiating with Kappans, he has to sit down with an insurance adjuster. Captain Voorhis insists he crashed. Robert Melin of the Belt Insurance Company disputes this. Mayne notes the Kappans are building a structure of timber and treated fish bones around the Gemsbok (the fish are quite large on Kappa Orionis VII). "A temple, believe it or not," Captain Voorhis tells him. "They tell me I set her down on land sacred to the great god Meeg!" Mayne is also supposed to secure the rights to build a base on Kappa Orionis VII, something Mayne figures he’ll do, you know, in his spare time. The Kappans see the spaceship—including her cargo—as a gift from Meeg. Seems Meeg has been pestering them to build him a temple and they’ve been slacking off. The ship is a sign they can’t ignore. So no—the Terrans can’t have the ship back. Of course Mayne pulls everything off with aplomb. There is nothing too deep here, but it is fun to watch him do this, even if, at times, it stretches the credible. This story is available from Project Gutenberg: _____ Title: “A Transmutation of Muddles” Author: H. B. Fyfe (1918-1997) First published: Astounding/Analog Science Fact & Fiction , September 1960 Source: ISFDB
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24187
4 people like this
3 responses
@JohnRoberts (51986)
• Los Angeles, California
17 Jul 16
Even in outer space, you have to hassle with insurance companies?
2 people like this
@msiduri (5757)
• United States
17 Jul 16
Apparently. When I worked in a pharmacy, it was a given that we were working for insurance companies.
@teamfreak16 (40499)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
17 Jul 16
I liked it. Spaceship insurance. Who knew?
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5757)
• United States
17 Jul 16
Glad you liked it. Again, feel like a job well done. Nothing they can't insure... for a price. Cute, wasn't it? If a bit far-fetched.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
17 Jul 16
good plot summary - sounds a good story
1 person likes this
@msiduri (5757)
• United States
17 Jul 16
Thanks. It was fun.
1 person likes this