The Cold Equations

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 10:43:36 PM

The Cold Equations



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Twilight Zone 3x16 The Cold Equations

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Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. You can read the earlier installments here. Its protagonist is Barton, the pilot of the Stardust , a small emergency spacecraft carrying a shipment of serum that is urgently needed to save the lives of six colonists on an isolated planet. Because the emergency vessels are deployed only as a last resort from larger transports, they carry the bare minimum of fuel required to get them to their destination, and any extra weight would cause the entire ship to crash.

As a result, the punishment for stowaways is severe: in order to save the ship as a whole, the pilot is legally obligated to immediately eject any unauthorized passengers through the airlock. After an agonized discussion of the situation, Marilyn comes to terms with her fate. Barton allows her to talk to her brother over the radio one last time, then marches her into the airlock and opens the doors. Marilyn is sucked into space to die horribly, while Barton returns to the controls. As a character in another story reminded his captain under similar circumstances , the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few—or the one.

Campbell, that is still widely read or anthologized. One and one inexorably add up to two, no matter how desperately we would have it otherwise. Campbell later said that he sent the manuscript back to Godwin no fewer than four times in order to get the bleak ending that he wanted. As it stands, the story is almost ludicrously free of the engineering heroics that readers had come to expect: both Barton and Marilyn quickly come to see her fate as a given, which seems to imply that Campbell was willing to push a story into dark places if he felt that the logic demanded it.

Yet the truth is a little more complicated. He also believed that it was worth embracing a contrarian stance for its own sake, as he explained to the writer Raymond F. Jones in a letter from There is no viewpoint that has zero validity—though some have very small validity, or very limited application. But if there is some viewpoint that you hold to be anathema—it must be important if you expend the effort to anathematize it!

This is a subtle distinction, but a real one. Gary Westfahl noted that the story was good physics, but bad engineering: the fact that the emergency ship is built without any factor of safety is clearly just a plot device. More recently, Cory Doctorow wrote:. The author decided that the plague was fatal to all concerned, and that the vaccine needed to be delivered within a timeframe that could only be attained through the execution of the stowaway. But so is nearly every work of science fiction, which quietly rigs the rules for the sake of the story that the writer wants to tell, no matter how implausible it might be. It was Godwin and Campbell. Once she is discovered, Marilyn learns that the ship she has chosen to hide out on has limited fuel and can only take a single person.

No matter how hard either of them try, it seems the inevitable is only delayed. Logically, this connects to the short story The Cold Equations written by Tom Godwin because the main character Marilyn Cross is required to make a hard decision relating to life being staggeringly unfair, which ends in an inequitable, extreme outcome. Marilyn makes a choice early in the story that results. There are countless stories that one can read and forget about the next day, however this is not one. The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin is such a moving story with so many incorporated themes that leave an impacting message in the reader's life. I really enjoyed the writing style of Tom Godwin. He starts with a phrase that gets the reader's attention immediately and gets us wondering why him not being alone is such a big deal.

After this he gives us the answer and some background information about. Where later on the story introduces a EDS pilot who flies airplanes who later finds a young little girl who is a stowaway because of an accident that happened. Where the story explains how this EDS pilot meets. It is shown when Marilyn had to die to save other lives. Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, characters discover the true background behind those who are outcasts in society. Likewise, in Lost in the Barrens by Farley Mowat, characters ascertain that their long-term enemies were truly innocent.

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