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Can You Name This Story? (Part 8)

Another reader writes in with a story description looking for a title. Do any of our readers out there know the title of this story?

The book concerns an investigator who is looking for a missing Russian (I think) Ballerina who was traveling with her luggage via a teleporter system that is world wide. The system has sending stations, and receiving stations. Before transport they weigh the person, and the cargo that will be transmitted to determine how much power to push them into the system with so they will arrive at their destination. Without accurate measurements they will overshoot, or undershoot the destination. Later in the novel the investigator is in one of the “relay” rooms. They have large metal spheres that somehow boost the signal as it moves along. They ping, or ring, when a person or signal is transmitted.

The plot revolves around the Russian Ballerina who goes into the system but never comes out of the teleport system. It runs very much like a murder mystery, the investigator looks into other deaths related to the system. One of which was the death of a linemen, the persons who get into a suit with a power supply of its own and coils on it that allows them to flow in the system, to pull people and items out. The linemen have a job where they are paid very well and retire only after a few years of svs due to the high hazard level of the work. This lineman had been retired a few years was living in a posh California home, when he fell into a depression. He took his life by putting a pistol to his head and pulling the trigger, twice. Linemen who live develop very fast reflexes.

The setting is very 1950s to 1960s. The cars, they cold war… all still a factor in the system. They treat the teleport stations very much like an airport of today, making a point that the system is expensive and not used for short trips. They depend on a recovery drug that is taken to assist with the transport shock, a pill. One trip, with the drug is fine, a few more and it starts to catch up with you, and you really start feeling poorly.

– Eric H.

Can you name this story?

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

5 Comments on Can You Name This Story? (Part 8)

  1. I have a vague memory of a story about people going missing on teleport public transit. (I guess even in the future, as Hank Hill said, “Public transportation is for losers.”) The story I’m remembering was called “A Streetcar Named Mobius.” I don’t remember the author, but I do remember that it was in an anthology edited by Isaac Asimov called Where Do We Go from Here?, and I probably remembe that because it was the same title as a song by the rock group Chicago. (Apparently a linear memory is also for losers.)

  2. “A Subway Named Mobius”, A.J. Deutsch. But no ballerinas in that one!

  3. Hell if I know, but it sounds dead interesting… 🙂

  4. Thank you, Fred, for the name of the author of “Mobius.”

    That story really does sound interesting, from “another reader”‘s description.

  5. Grab Mr. Peabody and tell him to bring his boy Sherman. We need the way back machine.

    We found it.

    This book was one that my friend Dave remembered from his youth and couldn’t remember the title of. Some obsessive searching and a year or two later and it was found!

    The Resurrectionist by Gary K. Wolf.

    I was very excited to read this story. I wasn’t disappointed. The characters are decent, the plot moves along and it has some very interesting ideas. There are some very anachronistic aspects to the story, but that didn’t detract from the over all story. I think it’s worth your time if you can dig a copy up.

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