Review: Science Fiction Short Story: "The Long Voyage" by Carl Jacobi

@msiduri (5757)
United States
December 12, 2016 7:43am CST
The planet Stragella proved to have no animal life on it. To the group of eighteen couple and Navigator Nick aboard the spaceship Marie Galante, this is the sixth disappointment in less than a year. Only Navigator Nick shows no emotion. “We’ll go back now,” he tells the others, “and we’ll try again. There must be some planet in this system that’s inhabited.” The group left earth—left the solar system—in response to an ad in the London Times: WANTED: A group of married men and women, young, courageous, educated, tired of political and social restrictions, interested in extraterrestrial colonization. Financial resources no qualification. The ship, the Marie Galante (name taken presumably from one of Christopher Columbus’ ships. An island in the Caribbean still bears the name.) is a cruiser-type, originally outfitted for short runs to Venus. The Galante has been modified. Bulkheads have been knocked out, music and ballrooms converted to living quarters and portholes blocked so that only the bridge and cuddy can see out. According to the navigator—since none of the others know anything about astrogation or cosmography—they’re in the system of a sun called Ponthis whose sixteen planets, all equal in size, all have a single satellite. They’re looking for a habitable planet, which, according to Norris, includes animal life. But after so many failures, the crew becomes antagonistic. There’s also a growing feeling the Nick isn’t being honest with them, or at least isn’t telling them the whole truth. At times, Nick goes on about how he and his Martian business partner, Ganeth-Klae invented an all-use material, known as Indurate, which has never been developed commercially. The formula was stolen. Nick has only half of the formula. Klae had the other. But Klae disappeared some time ago… This is classic space opera with a little mystery to solve. Part of what’s going on is so obvious I wanted to slap the narrator upside the head. I don’t know anything about astrogation or cosmography, either, and I saw what was happening. But there was more going on here also. I rather liked this little tale. Author Carl Jacobi was a lifelong Minnesotan, a friend of August Derleth’s. He worked was a journalist was one of the last surviving contributors to Weird Tales in its heyday. This story is available from Project Gutenberg and as an audiobook from Librivox: _____ Title: “The Long Voyage” Author: Carl Jacobi (1908-1997) First published: Fantastic Universe September 1955 Source: ISFDB
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/29742
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@teamfreak16 (40502)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
13 Dec 16
For some reason, I read "colonization" as "populate." "What a lucky bunch of guys," I thought!thoughthougthouth (I hate this phone.)
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@msiduri (5757)
• United States
13 Dec 16
Oh, an add for a pack of little Johnny Appleseeds, huh?
1 person likes this