Ring Around the Sun


Ring Around the Sun

:"Ring Around the Sun is also a SF novel by Clifford Simak."Infobox Short story
name = Ring Around the Sun
title_orig =
translator =
author = Isaac Asimov
country = United States
language = English
series =
genre = Science fiction short story
publication_type = Periodical
published_in = "Future Fiction"
publisher = Double Action Magazines
media_type = Print (Magazine, Hardback & Paperback)
pub_date = March 1940
english_pub_date =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
"Ring Around the Sun" is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. It was first published in the March 1940 issue of "Future Fiction" and reprinted in the 1972 collection "The Early Asimov". "Ring Around the Sun" was the fifth story Asimov wrote, and also the fifth to be published.

"Ring Around the Sun" was written in the latter half of August 1938, and submitted in person to John W. Campbell, editor of "Astounding Science Fiction", on 30 August. When Campbell rejected it, Asimov then submitted it to "Thrilling Wonder Stories"; after rejection by "Thrilling Wonder", it was accepted by Charles D. Hornig of "Future Fiction" on 5 February 1939. When Asimov wrote the story, he intended it to be the first of a series featuring the two protagonists, Jimmy Turner and Roy Snead. By the time the story appeared in print, however, he had lost interest in the characters. He later created another pair of characters, Powell and Donovan, who would be featured in a series of stories.

Turner and Snead are two pilots with United Space Mail. They are given the task of piloting a new ship, the "Helios", on a mail run from Earth to Venus. The "Helios" has a force field that allows it to deflect solar radiation around itself, so it can safely pass within twenty million miles of the Sun, cutting the length of the trip from the usual six months to two. The field comes on automatically as they approach the Sun, and the two men discover to their dismay that in the absence of solar radiation, the temperature on the ship keeps dropping. The Deflection Field remains on until they leave the Sun's vicinity; by then, the temperature has fallen to minus forty degrees Fahrenheit. When Turner and Snead finally reach Venus, their supervisor lets them know that if they had read the written instructions he gave them, they would have known that they could adjust the intensity of the Deflection Field to allow some solar radiation through and remain warm.


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