.RU
Ray Bradbury
Kaleidoscope
Inword

When the Space Shuttle broke-up on re-entry some two years ago, many readers of Ray Bradbury were immediately reminded of his short story, “Kaleidoscope”. A spaceship in the Bradbury story, however, blows up in space, and all crew members slowly float away from the ship into the depths of space.

 

Except one.

 

Again, the conversations between the flight crew, the sense of mystery of the depths of space, play well in the hands of the author. And at the end, we are all left to ponder the universe, the fates of so many lost spaceman, and the secret wish of one wide-eyed boy on Earth.


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Bulletin board
Story

The first concussion cut the rocket up the side with a giant can opener. The men were thrown into space like a dozen wriggling silverfish. They were scattered into a dark sea; and the ship, in a million pieces, went on, a meteor swarm seeking a lost sun.

"Barkley, Barkley, where are you?"

The sound of voices calling like lost children on a cold night

"Woode, Woode!"

"Captain!"

"Hollis, Hollis, this is Stone."

"Stone, this is Hollis. Where are you?"

"I don't know. How can I? Which way is up? I'm falling. Good God, I'm falling."

They fell. They fell as pebbles fall down wells. They were scattered as jackstones are scattered from a gigantic throw. And now instead of men there were only voices-all kinds of voices, disembodied and impassioned, in varying degrees of terror and resignation.

"We're going away from each other."

This was true. Hollis, swinging head over heels, knew this was true. He knew it with a vague acceptance. They were parting to go their separate ways, and nothing could bring them back. They were wearing their sealed-tight space suits with the glass tubes over their pale faces, but they hadn't had time to lock on their force units. With them they could be small lifeboats in space, saving themselves, saving others, collecting together, finding each other until they were an island of men with some plan. But without the force units snapped to their shoulders they were meteors, senseless, each going to a separate and irrevocable fate…



You can find this story in “The Illustrated Man”.

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Immersion
Eight great stories 1
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A Sound of Thunder
Here There Be Tigers
All Summer in a Day
The Small Assassin
The April Witch
Kaleidoscope
The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit
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