Type Story
Date 1968-03
Tags science fiction, new bookmark

Birth of a Salesman

T. Benedict works at X.C.G.C.--Xeno-Cultural Gestalt Clearance. He ensures that items being shipped offworld will not experience problems in transit. For example:

Now, wait a minute, the name may be silly, but the function, no. What are you shipping? . . . Monomolecular coated bearings? How are they packed? ... I said, how are they packed? What kind of cartons? Sperical? O.K., so you're shipping into the Deneb sector. Going through the Deneb Gamma transfer point, right? . . . Well, look it up, you'll find it has to go through there. So, the minute those spheres of yours come rolling through the transfer, the whole Gamma station crew squats down on its operculi and nobody budges a tentacle, because spheres are religious effigies on Gamma, see? And the transmitter stays open at your expense per microsecond, and your product doesn't move until a local atheist relief squad — at triple pay, your expense — is brought in to move it, right? It's to prevent foul-ups like that that you're supposed to get our clearance on your prototype pack. Not after the shipment is sealed to go! Right? . . . I'll send you the forms, and you get your samples up here fast. We'll do what we can.

The story reminds me of Faithful to Thee, Terra, in Our Fashion.

Name Role
James Tiptree, Jr. Author


Relation Sources
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