The Cold Equations


A pilot is on an emergency mission to a planet whose colony is doomed if he doesn't get there fast. He has just enough fuel to reach the planet—then he finds that he has a stowaway, a young girl wanting to be with her brother on the colony. If the pilot spaces the girl, the ship will barely make it to the planet. If he does not, the ship will crash and both of them as well as the colony will die. What will he do? This story rocked science fiction when it first appeared.

Also in this volume is Godwin's long-unavailable novel The Survivors, which poses another problem in survival: If hostile aliens have marooned you and hundreds of other people on a nearly uninhabitable planet, how do you not only manage to endure, but to get revenge as well?

This is a massive volume by a master of science fiction adventure, with added dimensions of speculation and cold, hard realism.

Publisher's Note: The novel The Survivors has been published separately.

"['The Cold Equations'] is one of the most popular and controversial hard sf stories of the last fifty years. ..."
—David G. Hartwell, The Ascent of Wonder

"The touchstone story for hard-core science fiction is Tom Godwin's 'The Cold Equations'."
—James Gunn, The Road to Science Fiction, Vol. Ill

"[Tom Godwin's SF] exhibited a fine clarity of conception, and considerable narrative verve. ..."
—John Clute, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

"The impact [of 'The Cold Equations' on publication] was immediate .... The impact of the story . . . remains the same now as then."
—Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss,The Astounding-Analog Reader

Cover Art by Clyde Caldwell

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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

First printing, April 2003

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Godwin, Tom.

The cold equations & other stories / by Tom Godwin ; edited and
compiled by Eric Flint.
p. cm.
ISBN 0-7434-3601-6 (pbk.)
1. Science fiction, American. 2. Space flight—Fiction. I. Title: Cold
equations and other stories. II. Flint, Eric. III. Title.

PS3557.O3175C65 2003
813'.54—dc21 2002043995

Distributed by Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Production by Windhaven Press, Auburn, NH
Printed in the United States of America

ISBN-13: 978-0-7434-3601-4
ISBN-10: 0-7434-3601-6

Copyright © 2003 by Tom Godwin.
The Survivors was first published by Gnome Press in 1958, and reissued in 1960 by Pyramid Books under the title Space Prison. "The Harvest" was first published in Venture in July, 1957. "Brain Teaser" was first published in If in October, 1956. "Mother of Invention" was first published in Astounding in December, 1953. "—And Devious the Line of Duty" was first published in Analog in December, 1962. "Empathy" was first published in Fantastic in October, 1959. "No Species Alone" was first published in Universe in November, 1954. "The Gulf Between" was first published in Astounding in October, 1953. "The Cold Equations" was first published in Astounding in August, 1954.

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