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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

X Minus One -- Point of Departure by Vaughan Shelton

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X Minus One (1955-1958) aired Vaughan Shelton's "Point of Departure" on October 17, 1957. It originally appeared in the April 1956 issue of Galaxy. The story centers on the budget administrator of a scientific research operation located in Utah, and a missing $300,000 he must account for. His answer to the members of the board--and the future of his job--rests on a series of 12,000 year-old Egyptian tablets outlining the development of a fabulous new power source. But it is the mystery inscribed on the untranslated 14th and final tablet that holds the secret to Mankind's future in space, as well as words of wisdom we would do well to heed.

I am unfamiliar with the name Vaughan Shelton, and could find nothing but this single story to his credit. Along with Shelton's novelette "Point of Departure," the April 1956 Galaxy contained the following stories: "Swenson, Dispatcher," a novelette by R. DeWitt Miller, "Protection," a short story by Robert Sheckley, "Garrity's Annuities," a short story by David Mason, "Time to Kill," a short story by E. C. Tubb, and Part 2 of 3 of Fred Pohl's novel Slave Ship.

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