Sample M02 from Philip José Farmer, The Lovers. New York: Ballantine Books, Inc., 1961. Pp. 37-42. A part of the XML version of the Brown Corpus2,012 words 445 (22.1%) quotesM02

Used by permission of Philip J. Farmer. 0010-1800

Philip José Farmer, The Lovers. New York: Ballantine Books, Inc., 1961. Pp. 37-42.

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The expense and time involved are astronomical . However , we sent a third vessel out , a much smaller and faster one than the first two . We have learned much about interstellar drives since a hundred years ago ; ; that is all I can tell you about them .

`` But the third ship came back several years ago and reported ''

`` That it had found a planet on which human beings could live and which was already inhabited by sentient beings '' ! ! Said Hal , forgetting in his enthusiasm that he had not been asked to speak .

Macneff stopped pacing to stare at Hal with his pale blue eyes .

`` How did you know '' ? ? He said sharply .

`` Forgive me , Sandalphon '' , said Hal . `` But it was inevitable ! ! Did not the Forerunner predict in his Time and the World Line that such a planet would be found ? ? I believe it was on page 573 '' ! !

Macneff smiled and said , `` I am glad that your scriptural lessons have left such an impression '' .

How could they not ? ? Thought Hal . Besides , they were not the only impressions . I still bear scars on my back where Pornsen , my gapt , whipped me because I had not learned my lessons well enough . He was a good impresser , that Pornsen . Was ? ? Is ! ! As I grew older and was promoted , so was he , always where I was . He was my gapt in the creche . He was the dormitory gapt when I went to college and thought I was getting away from him . He is now my block gapt . He is the one responsible for my getting such low M. R.'s .

Swiftly , came the revulsion , the protest . No , not he , for I , and I alone , am responsible for whatever happens to me . If I get a low M. R. , I do so because I want it that way or my dark self does . If I die , I die because I willed it so . So , forgive me , Sigmen , for the contrary-to-reality thoughts ! !

`` Please pardon me again , Sandalphon '' , said Hal . `` But did the expedition find any records of the Forerunner having been on this planet ? ? Perhaps , even , though this is too much to wish , find the Forerunner himself '' ? ?

`` No '' , said Macneff . `` Though that does not mean that there may not be such records there . The expedition was under orders to make a swift survey of conditions and then to return to Earth . I can't tell you now the distance in lightyears or what star this was , though you can see it with the naked eye at night in this hemisphere . If you volunteer , you will be told where you're going after the ship leaves . And it leaves very soon '' .

`` You need a linguist '' ? ? Said Hal .

`` The ship is huge '' , said Macneff , `` but the number of military men and specialists we are taking limits the linguists to one . We have considered several of your professionals because they were lamechians and above suspicion . Unfortunately ''

Hal waited : Macneff paced some more , frowning . Then , he said , `` Unfortunately , only one lamechian linguist exists , and he is too old for this expedition . Therefore ''

`` A thousand pardons '' , said Hal . `` But I have just thought of one thing . I am married '' .

`` No problem at all '' , said Macneff . `` There will be no women aboard the Gabriel . And , if a man is married , he will automatically be given a divorce '' .

Hal gasped , and he said , `` A divorce '' ? ?

Macneff raised his hands apologetically and said , `` You are horrified , of course . But , from our reading of the Western Talmud , we Urielites believe that the Forerunner , knowing this situation would arise , made reference to and provision for divorce . It's inevitable in this case , for the couple will be separated for , at the least , forty years . Naturally , he couched the provision in obscure language . In his great and glorious wisdom , he knew that our enemies the Israelites must not be able to read therein what we planned '' .

`` I volunteer '' , said Hal . `` Tell me more , Sandalphon '' .

Six months later , Hal Yarrow stood in the observation dome of the Gabriel and watched the ball of Earth dwindle above him . It was night on this hemisphere , but the light blazed from the megalopolises of Australia , Japan , China , Southeast Asia , India , Siberia . Hal , the linguist , saw the glittering discs and necklaces in terms of the languages spoken therein . Australia , the Philippine Islands , Japan , and northern China were inhabited by those members of the Haijac Union that spoke American .

Southern China , all of southeast Asia , southern India and Ceylon , these states of the Malay Federation spoke Bazaar .

Siberia spoke Icelandic .

His mind turned the globe swiftly for him , and he visualized Africa , which used Swahili south of the Sahara Sea . All around the Mediterranean Sea , Asia Minor , northern India , and Tibet , Hebrew was the native tongue . In southern Europe , between the Israeli Republics and the Icelandic-speaking peoples of northern Europe , was a thin but long stretch of territory called March . This was no man's land , disputed by the Haijac Union and the Israeli Republic , a potential source of war for the last two hundred years . Neither nation would give up their claim on it , yet neither wished to make any move that might lead to a second Apocalyptic War . So , for all practical purposes , it was an independent nation and by now had its own organized government ( unrecognized outside its own borders ) . Its citizens spoke all of the world's surviving tongues , plus a new one called Lingo , a pidgin whose vocabulary was derived from the other six and whose syntax was so simple it could be contained on half a sheet of paper .

Hal saw in his mind the rest of Earth : Iceland , Greenland , the Caribbean Islands , and the eastern half of South America . Here the peoples spoke the tongue of Iceland because that island had gotten the jump on the Hawaiian-Americans who were busy resettling North America and the western half of South America after the Apocalyptic War .

Then there was North America , where American was the native speech of all except the twenty descendants of French-Canadians living on the Hudson Bay Preserve .

Hal knew that when that side of Earth rotated into the night zone , Sigmen City would blaze out into space . And , somewhere in that enormous light , was his apartment . But Mary would soon no longer be living there , for she would be notified in a few days that her husband had died in an accident while on a flight to Tahiti . She would weep in private , he was sure , for she loved him in her frigid way , though in public she would be dry-eyed . Her friends and professional associates would sympathize with her , not because she had lost a beloved husband , but because she had been married to a man who thought unrealistically . If Hal Yarrow had been killed in a crash , he must have wanted it that way . There was no such thing as an `` accident '' . Somehow , all the other passengers ( also supposed to have died in this web of elaborate frauds to cover up the disappearance of the personnel of the Gabriel ) had simultaneously `` agreed '' to die . And , therefore , being in disgrace , they would not be cremated and their ashes flung to the winds in public ceremony . No , the fish could eat their bodies for all the Sturch cared .

Hal felt sorry for Mary ; ; he had a time keeping the tears from welling to his own eyes as he stood in the crowd in the observation dome .

Yet , he told himself , this was the best way . He and Mary would no longer have to tear and rend at each other ; ; their mutual torture would be over . Mary was free to marry again , not knowing that the Sturch had secretly given her a divorce , thinking that death had dissolved her marriage . She would have a year in which to make up her mind , to choose a mate from a list selected by her gapt . Perhaps , the psychological barriers that had prevented her from conceiving Hal's child would no longer be present . Perhaps . Hal doubted if this happy event would occur . Mary was as frozen below the navel as he . No matter who the candidate for marriage selected by the gapt

The gapt . Pornsen . He would no longer have to see that fat face , hear that whining voice

`` Hal Yarrow '' ! ! Said the whining voice .

And , slowly , feeling himself icy yet burning , Hal turned .

There was the squat loose-jowled man , smiling lopsidedly up at him .

`` My beloved ward , my perennial gadfly '' , said the whining voice . `` I had no idea that you , too , would be on this glorious voyage . But I might have known ! ! We seem to be bound by love ; ; Sigmen himself must have foreseen it . Love to you , my ward '' .

`` Sigmen love you , too , my guardian '' , said Hal , choking . `` How wonderful to see your cherished self . I had thought we would never again speak to each other '' .

5 the Gabriel pointed towards her destination and , under one-gee acceleration , began to build up towards her ultimate velocity , 99.1 percent of the speed of light . Meanwhile , all the personnel except those few needed to carry out the performance of the ship , went into the suspensor . Here they would lie in suspended animation for many years . Some time later , after a check had been made of all automatic equipment , the crew would join the others . They would sleep while the Gabriel's drive would increase the acceleration to a point which the unfrozen bodies of the personnel could not have endured . Upon reaching the desired speed , the automatic equipment would cut off the drive , and the silent but not empty vessel would hurl towards the star which was its journey's end .

Many years later , the photon-counting apparatus in the nose of the ship would determine that the star was close enough to actuate deceleration . Again , a force too strong for unfrozen bodies to endure would be applied . Then , after slowing the vessel considerably , the drive would adjust to a one-gee deceleration . And the crew would be automatically brought out of their suspended animation . These members would then unthaw the rest of the personnel . And , in the half-year left before reaching their destination , the men would carry out whatever preparations were needed .

Hal Yarrow was among the last to go into the suspensor and among the first to come out . He had to study the recordings of the language of the chief nation of Ozagen , Siddo . And , from the first , he faced a difficult task . The expedition that had discovered Ozagen had succeeded in correlating two thousand Siddo words with an equal number of American words . The description of the Siddo syntax was very restricted . And , as Hal found out , obviously mistaken in many cases .

This discovery caused Hal anxiety . His duty was to write a school text and to teach the entire personnel of the Gabriel how to speak Ozagen . Yet , if he used all of the little means at his disposal , he would be instructing his students wrongly . Moreover , even getting this across would be difficult .

For one thing , the organs of speech of the Ozagen natives differed somewhat from Earthmen's ; ; the sounds made by these organs were , therefore , dissimilar . It was true that they could be approximated , but would the Ozagenians understand these approximations ? ?

Another obstacle was the grammatical construction of Siddo . Consider the tense system . Instead of inflecting a verb or using an unattached particle to indicate the past or future , Siddo used an entirely different word . Thus , the masculine animate infinitive dabhumaksanigalu'ahai , meaning to live , was , in the perfect tense , ksu'u'peli'afo , and , in the future , mai'teipa . The same use of an entirely different word applied for all the other tenses . Plus the fact that Siddo not only had the normal ( to Earthmen ) three genders of masculine , feminine , and neuter , but the two extra of inanimate and spiritual . Fortunately , gender was inflected , though the expression of it would be difficult for anybody not born in Siddo . The system of indicating gender varied according to tense .

All the other parts of speech : nouns , pronouns , adjectives , adverbs , and conjunctions operated under the same system as the verbs .