So here is a short story by one of the all-time masters of science fiction, ROBERT SHECKLEY. Warrior Race is about a 15-20 minute read, but the impact of the story will stay with you a lot longer. Don't be surprised if you're driving in your car some day, or maybe walking your dog, and suddenly you find yourself thinking about this clever gem, and having yourself a private chuckle.
In brief: The story involves two unlucky space travelers who find themselves "way out there" and running short on fuel. They identify a remote planet where a cache of starship fuel has been squirreled away - it's an isolated world that has not had other visitors from space for many years.
When our two space men land, they encounter a primitive, but fierce population whose lives revolve around their identities as "warriors." The problem is, the place where the fuel is kept has long since come to be viewed as a sacred shrine, and the astronauts must find some way to get around, beyond or through tens of thousands of heavily armed natives to get the fuel they need.
At the heart of the story is an extremely clever twist - the highly peculiar fighting tactics of the Warrior Race. I can say no more, or I would spoil it. But take it from me, this is typical Sheckley cleverness at its best! It's no accident that Sheckley is often called "the Voltaire" of science fiction. His wit is sharp, still fresh today, and very much on display in this little masterpiece of the genre.
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Ken Korczak is the author of: MINNESOTA PARANORMALA