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Robert Sheckley broke into print in 1952, was immediately acknowledged as the genre’s best humor writer,
and began showing new ways for science fiction to use humor in his classic novels
Mindswap and
Dimension of Miracles.
He was named Guest of Honor at the 2005 Worldcon.

 STREET OF DREAMS, FEET OF CLAY
by
Robert Sheckley

=I=

Carmody had never really planned to leave New York. Why he did so is inexplicable. A born urbanite, he had grown accustomed to the minor inconveniences of metropolitan life. His snug apartment on the 290th floor of Levitfrack Towers on West Ninety-ninth Street was nicely equipped in the current “Spaceship” motif. The windows were doublesealed in a tinted lifetime plexiglass, and the air ducts worked through a blind baffle filtration system which sealed automatically when the Combined Atmosphere Pollution Index reached 999.8 on the Con Ed scale. True, his oxygen-nitrogen air recirculation system was old, but it was reliable. His water purification cells were obsolete and ineffective; but then, nobody drank water anyhow.

Noise was a continual annoyance, unstoppable and inescapable. But Carmody knew that there was no cure for this, since the ancient art of soundproofing had been lost. It was urban man’s lot to listen, a captive audience, to the arguments, music and watery gurglings of his adjacent neighbors. Even this torture could be alleviated, however, by producing similar sounds of one’s own.

Going to work each day entailed certain dangers; but these were more apparent than real. Disadvantaged snipers continued to make their ineffectual protests from rooftops and occasionally succeeded in potting an unwary out-of-towner. But as a rule, their aim was abominable. Additionally, the general acceptance of light-weight personal armor had taken away most of their sting, and the sternly administered state law forbidding the personal possession of surplus cannon had rendered them ineffectual.

Thus, no single factor can be adduced for Carmody’s sudden decision to leave what was generally considered the world’s most exciting megapolitan agglomeration. Blame in on a vagrant impulse, a pastoral fantasy, or on sheer perversity. The simple, irreducible fact is, one day Carmody opened his copy of the Daily Times-News and saw an advertisement for a model city in New Jersey.

“Come and live in Bellwether, the city that cares,” the advertisement proclaimed. There followed a list of utopian claims which need not be reproduced here.

“Huh,” said Carmody, and read on.

Bellwether was within easy commuting distance. One simply drove through the Ulysses S. Grant tunnel at 43rd Street, took the Hoboken Shunt Subroad to the Palisades Interstate Crossover, followed that for 3.2 miles on the Blue-Charlie Sorter Loop that led onto U.S. 5 (The Hague Memorial Tollway), proceeded along that a distance of 6.1 miles to the Garden State Supplementary Access Service Road (Provisional), upon which one tended west to Exit 1731A, which was King’s Highbridge Gate Road, and then continued along that for a distance of 1.6 miles. And there you were.

“By jingo,” said Carmody, I’ll do it.”

And he did.

 

=II=

King’s Highbridge Gate Road ended on a neatly trimmed plain. Carmody got out of his car and looked around. Half a mile ahead of him he saw a small city. A single modest signpost identified it as Bellwether.

This city was not constructed in the traditional manner of American cities, with outliers of gas stations, tentacles of hot-dog stands, fringes of motels and a protective carapace of junkyards; but rather, as some Italian hill towns are fashioned, it rose abruptly without physical preamble, the main body of the town presenting itself at once and without amelioration.

Carmody found this appealing. He advanced into the city itself.

Bellwether had a warm and open look. Its streets were laid out generously, and there was a frankness about the wide bay windows of its store-fronts. As he penetrated deeper, Carmody found other delights. Just within the city he entered a piazza, like a Roman piazza, only smaller; and in the center of the piazza there was a fountain, and standing in the fountain was a marble representation of a boy with a dolphin, and from the dolphin’s mouth a stream of clear water issued.

“I do hope you like it,” a voice said from behind Carmody’s left shoulder.

“It’s nice,” Carmody said.

“I constructed it and put it there myself,” the voice told him. “It seemed to me that a fountain, despite the antiquity of its concept, is aesthetically functional. And this piazza, with its benches and shady chestnut trees, is copied from a Bolognese model. Again, I did not inhibit myself with the fear of seeming old-fashioned. The true artist uses what is necessary, be it a thousand years old or one second new.”

“I applaud your sentiment,” Carmody said. “Permit me to introduce myself. I am Edward Carmody.” He turned, smiling.

But there was no one behind his left shoulder, or behind his right shoulder, either. There was no one in the piazza, nobody at all in sight.

“Forgive me,” the voice said. “I didn’t mean to startle you. I thought you knew.”

“Knew what?” Carmody asked.

“Knew about me.”

“Well, I don’t,” Carmody said. “Who are you and where are you speaking from?”

“I am the voice of the city,” the voice said. “Or to put it another way, I am the city itself, Bellwether, the actual and veritable city, speaking to you.”

“Is that a fact?” Carmody said sardonically. “Yes,” he answered himself, “I suppose it is a fact. So all right, you’re a city. Big deal!”

He turned away from the fountain and strolled across the piazza like a man who conversed with cities every day of his life, and who was slightly bored with the whole thing. He walked down various streets and up certain avenues. He glanced into store windows and noted houses. He paused in front of the statuary, but only briefly.

“Well?” the city of Bellwether asked after a while.

“Well, what?” Carmody answered at once.

“Well, what do you think of me?”

“You’re okay,” Carmody said.

“Only okay? Is that all?”

“Look,” Carmody said, “a city is a city. When you’ve seen one, you’ve pretty much seen them all.”

“That’s untrue!” the city said, with some show of pique. “I am distinctly different from other cities. I am unique.”

“Are you indeed?” Carmody said scornfully. “To me you look like a conglomeration of badly assembled parts. You’ve got an Italian piazza, a couple of Greek-type buildings, a row of Tudor houses, an old-style New York tenement, a California hot-dog stand shaped like a tugboat and God knows what else. What’s so unique about that?”

“The combination of those forms into a meaningful entity is unique,” the city said. “These older forms are not anachronisms, you understand. They are representative styles of living, and as such are appropriate in a well-wrought machine for living. Would you care for some coffee and perhaps a sandwich or some fresh fruit?”

“Coffee sounds good,” Carmody said. He allowed Bellwether to guide him around the corner to an open-air cafe. The cafe was called “O You Kid” and was a replica of a Gay Nineties’ saloon, right down to the Tiffany lamps and the cut-glass chandelier and the player piano. Like everything else that Carmody had seen in the city, it was spotlessly clean, but without people.

“Nice atmosphere, don’t you think?” Bellwether asked.

“Campy,” Carmody pronounced. “Okay if you like that sort of thing.”

A foaming mug of cappuccino was lowered to his table on a stainless steel tray. Carmody sipped.

“Good?” Bellwether asked.

“Yes, very good.”

“I rather pride myself on my coffee,” the city said quietly. “And on my cooking. Wouldn’t you care for a little something? An omelette, perhaps, or a souffle?”

“Nothing,” Carmody said firmly. He leaned back in his chair and said, “So you’re a model city, huh?”

“Yes, that is what I have the honor to be,” Bellwether said. “I am the most recent of all model cities; and, I believe, the most satisfactory. I was conceived by a joint study group from Yale and the University of Chicago, who were working on a Rockefeller fellowship. Most of my practical details were devised by M.I.T., although some special sections of me came from Princeton and from the RAND Corporation. My actual construction was a General Electric project, and the money was procured by grants from the Ford and Carnegie Foundations, as well several other institutions I am not at liberty to mention.”

“Interesting sort of history,” Carmody said, with hateful nonchalance. “That’s a Gothic Cathedral across the street, isn’t it?”

“Modified Romanesque,” the city said. “Also interdenominational and open to all faiths, with a designed seating capacity for three hundred people.”

“That doesn’t seem like many for a building of that size.”

“It’s not, of course. Designedly. My idea was to combine awesomeness with coziness.”

“Where are the inhabitants of this town, by the way?” Carmody asked.

“They have left,” Bellwether said mournfully. “They have all departed.”

“Why?”

The city was silent for a while, then said, “There was a breakdown in city-community relations. A misunderstanding, really. Or perhaps I should say, an unfortunate series of misunderstandings. I suspect that rabble-rousers played their part.”

“But what happened, precisely?”

“I don’t know,” the city said. “I really don’t know. One day they simply all left. Just like that! But I’m sure they’ll be back.”

“I wonder,” Carmody said.

“I am convinced of it,” the city said. “But putting that aside: why don’t you stay here, Mr. Carmody?”

“I haven’t really had time to consider it,” Carmody said.

“How could you help but like it?” Bellwether said. “Just think—you would have the most modern up-to-date city in the world at your beck and call.”

“This does sound interesting,” Carmody said.

“So give it a try, how could it hurt you?” the city asked.

“All right, I think I will,” Carmody said.

He was intrigued by the city of Bellwether. But he was also apprehensive. He wished he knew exactly why the city’s previous occupants had left.

At Bellwether’s insistence, Carmody slept that night in the sumptuous bridal suite of the King George V Hotel. Bellwether served him breakfast on the terrace and played a brisk Haydn quartet while Carmody ate. The morning air was delicious. If Bellwether hadn’t told him, Carmody would never have guessed it was reconstituted.

When he was finished, Carmody leaned back and enjoyed the view of Bellwether’s western quarter—a pleasing jumble of Chinese pagodas, Venetian footbridges, Japanese canals, a green Burmese hill, a Corinthian temple, a California parking lot, a Norman tower and much else besides.

“You have a splendid view,” he told the city.

“I’m so glad you appreciate it,” Bellwether replied. “The problem of style was argued from the day of my inception. One group held for consistency: a harmonious group of shapes blending into a harmonious whole. But quite a few model cities are like that. They are uniformly dull, artificial entities created by one man or one committee, unlike real cities.”

“You’re sort of artificial yourself, aren’t you?” Carmody asked.

“Of course! But I do not pretend to be anything else. I am not a fake ‘city of the future’ or a mock-florentine bastard. I am a true agglutinated congeries. I am supposed to be interesting and stimulating in addition to being functional and practical.”

“Bellwether, you look okay to me,” Carmody said, in a sudden rush of expansiveness. “Do all model cities talk like you?”

“Certainly not. Most cities up to now, model or otherwise, never said a word. But their inhabitants didn’t like that. It made the city seem too huge, too masterful, too soulless, too impersonal. That is why I was created with a voice and an artificial consciousness to guide it.”

“I see,” Carmody said.

“The point is, my artificial consciousness personalizes me, which is very important in an age of depersonalization. It enables me to be truly responsive. It permits me to be creative in meeting the demands of my occupants. We can reason with each other, my people and I. By carrying on a continual and meaningful dialogue, we can help each other to establish a dynamic, flexible and truly viable urban environment. We can modify each other without any significant loss of individuality.”

“It sounds fine,” Carmody said. “Except, of course, that you don’t have anyone here to carry on a dialogue with.”

“That is the only flaw in the scheme,” the city admitted. “But for the present, I have you.”

“Yes, you have me,” Carmody said, and wondered why the words rang unpleasantly on his ear.

“And, naturally, you have me,” the city said. “It is a reciprocal relationship, which is the only kind worth having. But now, my dear Carmody, suppose I show you around myself. then we can get you settled in and regularized.”

“Get me what?”

“I didn’t mean it the way it sounded,” the city said. “It simply is an unfortunate scientific expression. But you understand, I’m sure, that a reciprocal relationship necessitates obligations on the part of both involved parties. It couldn’t very well be otherwise, could it?”

“Not unless it was a laissez-faire relationship.”

We’re trying to get away from all that,” Bellwether said. Laissez-faire becomes a doctrine of the emotions, you know, and leads non-stop to anomie. If you will just come this way.”

 

=III=

Carmody went where he was asked and beheld the excellencies of Bellwether. He toured the power plant, the water filtration center, the industrial park and the light industries section. He saw the children’s park and the Odd Fellow’s Hall. He walked through a museum and an art gallery, a concert hall and a theater, a bowling alley, a billiards parlor, a Go-Kart track and a movie theater. He became tired and wanted to stop. But the city wanted to show itself off, and Carmody had to look at the five-story American Express building, the Portuguese synagogue, the statue of Buckminster Fuller, the Greyhound Bus Station and several other attractions.

At last it was over. Carmody concluded that beauty was in the eye of the beholder, except for a small part of it that was in the beholder’s feet.

“A little lunch now?” the city asked.

“Fine,” Carmody said.

He was guided to the fashionable Rochambeau Cafe, where he began with potage au petit poi and ended with petits fours.”

“What about a nice Brie to finish off?” the city asked.

“No thanks,” Carmody said. “I’m full. Too full, as a matter of fact.”

“But cheese isn’t filling. A bit of first rate Camembert?”

“I couldn’t possibly.”

“Perhaps a few assorted fruits. Very refreshing to the palate.”

“It’s not my palate that needs refreshing,” Carmody said.

“At least an apple, a pear and a couple of grapes?”

“Thanks, no.”

“A couple of cherries?”

“No, no, no!”

“A meal isn’t complete without a little fruit,” the city said.

“My meal is,” Carmody said.

“There are important vitamins only found in fresh fruit.”

“I’ll just have to struggle along without them.”

“Perhaps an orange, which I will peel for you? Citrus fruits have no bulk at all.”

“I couldn’t possibly.”

“Not even one quarter of an orange? If I take out all the pits?”

“Most decidedly not.”

“It would make me feel better,” the city said. “I have a completion compulsion, you know, and no meal is complete without a piece of fruit.”

“No! No! No!”

“All right, don’t get so excited,” the city said. “If you don’t like the sort of food I serve, that’s up to you.”

“But I do like it.”

“Then if you like it so much, why won’t you eat some fruit?”

“Enough,” Carmody said. “Give me a couple of grapes.”

“I wouldn’t want to force anything on you.”

“You’re not forcing. Give me, please.”

“You’re quite sure?”

“Gimme!” Carmody shouted.

“So take,” the city said and produced a magnificent bunch of muscatel grapes. Carmody ate them all. They were very good.

“Excuse me,” the city said. “What are you doing?”

Carmody sat upright and opened his eyes. “I was taking a little nap,” he said. “Is there anything wrong with that?”

“What should be wrong with a perfect natural thing like that?” the city said.

“Thank you,” Carmody said, and closed his eyes again.

“But why a nap in a chair?” the city asked.

“Because I’m in a chair, and I’m already half asleep.”

“You’ll get a crick in your back,” the city warned him.

“Don’t care,” Carmody mumbled, his eyes still closed.

“Why not take a proper nap? Over here on the couch?”

“I’m already napping comfortably right here.”

“You’re not really comfortable,” the city pointed out. “The human anatomy is not constructed for sleeping sitting up,”

“At the moment, mine is,” Carmody said.

“It’s not. Why not try the couch?”

“The chair is fine.”

“But the couch is finer. Just try it, please, Carmody. Carmody?”

“Eh? What’s that?” Carmody said, waking up.

“The couch. I really think you should rest on the couch.”

“All right!” Carmody said, struggling to his feet. “Where is this couch?”

He was guided out of the restaurant, down the street, around the corner, and into a building marked “The Snoozerie.” There were a dozen couches. Carmody went to the nearest.

“Not that one,” the city said. “It’s got a bad spring.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Carmody said. “I’ll sleep around it.”

“That will result in a cramped posture.”

“Christ!” Carmody said, getting to his feet. “Which couch would you recommend?”

“The one right back here,” the city said. “It’s a king-size, the best in the place. The yield-point of the mattress has been scientifically determined. The pillows—”

“Right, fine, good,” Carmody said, lying down on the indicated couch.

“Shall I play you some soothing music?”

“Don’t bother.”

“Just as you wish. I’ll put out the lights, then.”

“Fine.”

“Would you like a blanket? I control the temperature here, of course, but sleepers often get a subjective impression of chilliness.”

“It doesn’t matter! Leave me alone!”

“All right! the city said. “I’m not doing this for myself, you know. Personally, I never sleep.”

“Okay, sorry,” Carmody said.

“That’s perfectly all right.”

There was a long silence. Then Carmody sat up.

“What’s the matter?” the city asked.

“Now I can’t sleep,” Carmody said.

“Try closing your eyes and consciously relaxing every muscle in your body, starting with the big toe and working upward to—”

“I can’t sleep!” Carmody shouted.

“Maybe you weren’t very sleepy to begin with,” the city suggested. “But at least you could close your eyes and try to get a little rest. Won’t you do that for me?”

“No!” Carmody said. “I’m not sleepy and I don’t need a rest.”

“Stubborn!” the city said. “Do what you like. I’ve tried my best.”

“Yeah!” Carmody said, getting to his feet and walking out of the Snoozerie.

 

=IV=

Carmody stood on a little curved bridge and looked over a blue lagoon.

“This is a copy of the Rialto bridge in Venice,” the city said. “Scaled down, of course.”

“I know,” Carmody said. “I read the sign.”

“It’s rather enchanting isn’t it?”

“Sure, it’s fine,” Carmody said, lighting a cigarette.

“You’re doing a lot of smoking,” the city pointed out.

“I know. I feel like smoking.”

“As your medical advisor, I must point out that the link between smoking and lung cancer is conclusive.”

“I know.”

“If you switched to a pipe your chances would be improved.”

“I don’t like pipes.”

“What about a cigar, then?”

“I don’t like cigars.” He lit another cigarette.

“That’s your third cigarette in five minutes,” the city said.

“Goddamn it, I’ll smoke as much and as often as please!” Carmody shouted.

“Well, of course you will!” the city said. “I was merely trying to advise you for your own good. Would you want me to simply stand by and not say a word while you destroyed yourself?”

“Yes,” Carmody said.

“I can’t believe that you mean that. There is an ethical imperative involved here. Man can act against his best interests; but a machine is not allowed that degree of perversity.”

“Get off my back,” Carmody said sullenly. “Quit pushing me around.”

“Pushing you around? My dear Carmody, have I coerced you in any way? Have I done any more than advise you?”

“Maybe not. But you talk too much.”

“Perhaps I don’t talk enough,” the city said. “To judge from the response I get.”

“You talk too much,” Carmody repeated and lit a cigarette.

“That is your fourth cigarette in five minutes.”

Carmody opened his mouth to bellow an insult. Then he changed his mind and walked away.

***

“What’s this?” Carmody asked.

“It’s a candy machine,” the city told him.

“It doesn’t look like one.”

“Still, it is one. This design is a modification of a design by Saarionmen for a silo. I have miniaturized it, of course, and—”

“It still doesn’t look like a candy machine. How do you work it?”

“It’s very simple. Push the red button. Now wait. Press down one of those levers on Row A; now press the green button. There!”

A Baby Ruth bar slid into Carmody’s hand.

“Huh,” Carmody said. He stripped off the paper and bit into the bar. “Is this a real Baby Ruth bar or a copy of one?” he asked.

“It’s a real one. I had to subcontract the candy concession because of the pressure of work.”

“Huh,” Carmody said, letting the candy wrapper slip from his fingers.

“That,” the city said, “is an example of the kind of thoughtlessness I always encounter.”

“It’s just a piece of paper,” Carmody said, turning and looking at the candy wrapper lying on the spotless street.

“Of course it’s just a piece of paper,” the city said. “But multiply it by a hundred thousand inhabitants and what do you have?”

“A hundred thousand Baby Ruth wrappers,” Carmody answered at once.

“I don’t consider that funny,” the city said. “You wouldn’t want to live in the midst of all that paper, I can assure you. You’d be the first to complain if this street were strewn with garbage. But do you do your share? Do you even clean up after yourself? Of course not! You leave it to me, even though I have to run all of the other functions of the city, night and day, without even Sundays off.”

Carmody bent down to pick up the candy wrapper. But just before his fingers could close on it, a pincer arm shot out of the nearest sewer, snatched the paper away and vanished from sight.

“It’s all right,” the city said. “I’m used to cleaning up after people. I do it all the time.”

“Yuh,” said Carmody.

“Nor do I expect any gratitude.”

“I’m grateful, I’m grateful.” Carmody said.

“No, you’re not,” Bellwether said.

“So okay maybe I’m not. What do you want me to say?”

“I don’t want you to say anything,” the city said. “Let us consider the incident closed.”

***

“Had enough?” the city said, after dinner.

“Plenty,” Carmody said.

“You didn’t eat much.”

“I ate all I wanted. It was very good.”

“If it was so good, why didn’t you eat more?”

“Because I couldn’t hold any more.”

“If you hadn’t spoiled your appetite with that candy bar …”

“Goddamn it, the candy bar didn’t spoil my appetite. I just—”

“You’re lighting a cigarette,” the city said.

“Yeah,” Carmody said.

“Couldn’t you wait a little longer?”

“Now look,” Carmody said. “Just what in hell do you—”

“But we have something more important to talk about,” the city said quickly. “Have you thought about what you’re going to do for a living?”

“I haven’t really had much time to think about it.”

“Well, I have been thinking about it. It would be nice if you became a doctor.”

“Me? I’d have to take special college courses, then get into medical school, and so forth.”

“I can arrange all that,” the city said.

“Not interested.”

“Well …What about law?”

“Never.”

“Engineering is an excellent line.”

“Not for me.”

“What about accounting?”

“Not on your life.”

“What do you want to be?”

“A jet pilot,” Carmody said impulsively.

“Oh, come now!”

“I’m quite serious.”

“I don’t even have an air field here.”

“Then I’ll pilot somewhere else.”

“You’re only saying that to spite me!”

“Not at all,” Carmody said. “I want to be a pilot, I really do. I’ve always wanted to be a pilot. Honest I have!”

There was a long silence. Then the city said, “The choice is entirely up to you.” This was said in a voice that sounded like death.

***

“Where are you going now?”

“Out for a walk,” Carmody said.

“At nine-thirty in the evening?”

“Sure. Why not?”

“I thought you were tired.”

“That was quite some time ago.”

“I see. And I also thought that you could sit here and we could have a nice chat.”

“How about if we talk after I get back?”

“No, it doesn’t matter,” Bellwether said.

“The walk doesn’t matter,” Carmody said, sitting down. “Come on, we’ll talk.”

“I no longer care to talk,” the city said. “Please go for your walk.”

 

=V=

“Well, good night,” Carmody said.

“I beg your pardon?”

“I said, ‘good night.’”

“You’re going to sleep?”

“Sure. It’s late, I’m tired.”

“You’re going to sleep now?”

“Well, why not?”

“No reason at all,” the city said, “except that you have forgotten to wash.”

“Oh. … I guess I did forget. I’ll wash in the morning.”

“How long has it been since you’ve had a bath?”

“Too long. I’ll take one in the morning.”

“Wouldn’t you feel better if you took one right now?”

“No.”

“Even if I drew the bath for you?”

“No! Goddamn it, no! I’m going to sleep.”

“Do exactly as you please,” the city said. “Don’t wash, don’t study, don’t eat a balanced diet. But also, don’t blame me.”

“Blame you? For what?”

“For anything,” the city said.

“Yes. But what did you have in mind, specifically?”

“It isn’t important.”

“Then why did you bring it up in the first place?”

“I was only thinking of you,” the city said.

“I realize that.”

“You must know that it can’t benefit me if you wash or not.”

“I’m aware of that.”

“When one cares,” the city went on, “when one feels one’s responsibilities, it is not nice to hear oneself sworn at.”

“I didn’t swear at you.”

“Not this time. But earlier today you did.”

“Well … I was nervous.”

“That’s because of the smoking.”

“Don’t start that again!”

“I won’t,” the city said. “Smoke like a furnace. What does it matter to me?”

“Damned right,” Carmody said, lighting a cigarette.

“But my failure,” the city said.

“No, no,” Carmody said. “Don’t say it, please don’t.”

“Forget I said it,” the city said.

“All right.”

“Sometimes I get overzealous.”

“Sure.”

“And it’s especially difficult because I’m right. I am right, you know.”

“I know,” Carmody said. “You’re right, you’re right, you’re always right. Right right right right right—”

“Don’t overexcite yourself at bedtime,” the city said. “Would you care for a glass of milk?”

“No.”

“You’re sure?”

Carmody put his hands over his eyes. He felt very strange. He also felt extremely guilty, fragile, dirty, unhealthy and sloppy. He felt generally and irrevocably bad, and it would always be this way unless he changed, adjusted, adapted …

But instead of attempting anything of the sort he rose to his feet, squared his shoulders, and marched away past the roman piazza and the Venetian bridge.

“Where are you going?” the city asked. “What’s the matter?”

Silent, tight-lipped, Carmody continued past the children’s park and the American Express building.

“What did I do wrong?” the city cried. “What, just tell me what?”

Carmody made no reply but strode past the Rochambeau Cafe and the Portuguese synagogue, coming at last to the pleasant green plain that surrounded Bellwether.

“Ingrate!” the city screamed after him. “You’re just like all the others. All of you humans are disagreeable animals, and you’re never really satisfied with anything.”

Carmody got into his car and started the engine.

“But of course,” the city said, in a more thoughtful voice, “you’re never really dissatisfied with anything either. The moral, I suppose, is that a city must learn patience.”

Carmody turned the car onto King’s Highbridge Gate Road and started east, toward New York.

“Have a nice trip!” Bellwether called after him. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be waiting up for you.”

Carmody stepped down hard on the accelerator. He really wished he hadn’t heard that last remark.

Copyright © 1967 by Robert Sheckley

 

THE HEMINGWAY HOAX
by Joe Haldeman

Winner Hugo Award
Winner Nebula Award

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Totaled
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The Peacemaker

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Street of Dreams, Feet of Clay
by Robert Sheckley
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by Laurie Tom
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by Lou J. Berger

The Very Pulse of the Machine
by Michael Swanwick
Hark! Listen to the Animals

by Lisa Tang Liu & Ken Liu
The Book of Faces

by Kay Kenyon

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An Interview by Joy Ward

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Lest Darkness Fall  (Part 3)
by L. Sprague de Camp

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Copyright © Arc Manor LLC 2014. All Rights Reserved. Galaxy's Edge is an online magazine published every two months (January, March, May, July, September, November) by Phoenix Pick, the Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint of Arc Manor Publishers.