This chap was different. He was into SciFi, and being of a similar age, we had read much the same things. I told him about the short story I remembered from an English lesson at school. It was in an anthology, and about a stowaway on a spaceship. I cannot tell you the profound effect the book had on me.Thirty *cough* years on I can still remember everything.... EXCEPT THE SODDING NAME.
The salesman, without even blinking, told me the name of the book and the author. Thank you, sir. You have given me back a piece of my childhood.
Under no circumstances should you read this if you like happy endings. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin
Tom Godwin's story "The Cold Equations" rocked the science fiction world when it appeared. A pilot is on an emergency mission to a planet whose colony is doomed if he doesn't reach them. He has just enough fuel to get there - then he finds he has a stowaway, a young girl wanting to be with her brother on the colony. If the pilot jettisons her through the airlock, the ship will barely make it to a landing on the planet. If he does not, the ship will crash and both of them as well as the colony will die. What will he do? Also in this volume are other, unforgettable stories by Godwin, including his full - length novel Space Prison, which poses another problem in survival: if hostile aliens have marooned you and hundreds of other people on a nearly uninhabitable planet, how do you manage not only to endure, but to get revenge? A large volume by a master of science fiction adventure with an extra dimension of speculation.