From where Trant stood, he could see disc spaceports, beyond whose transparency were auras of noxious purple, a protonic emanation that clung to the scarred hull of the old space-dog ship like a battered armor. Occasionally he saw brilliant crimson flashes as the rays flashed upward from the entrenched warriors of Planetoid 42XY.
Nick laid down the wrench he had been using on the disabled blast tube. ‘Do the kids know—about the oxygen?’ he asked. Steve shook his head. ‘Ah thought theah was no use tellin’ them ’til we had to,’ he answered. Nick nodded absently, and took up the wrench again. It was next to the last time that the oxygen was ever mentioned between them. Around supper time, Steve noticed that Nick, the usually robust old space-dog, was developing a nasty cough.
Hands touched him lightly, and a strongly alcoholic breath almost made him gasp as the man groped past him. There was a chuckle in the blackness. [‘]Just an old space dog on a spree,’ the voice said.
Arthur C. Clarke has a sharp mind and a disciplined typewriter and his stories of space exploration have that rare and satisfying quality, the feel of being the authentic reminiscences of an Old Space Dog. In The Challenge of the Space Ship (Harper), he is permitted to cast off the fiction format and present some two hundred pages of pure fact and speculation.
‘I’m in charge here,’ I grated in my best spacedog voice.
The grizzled old spacedog, pipe in mouth, glass in hand, spinning a yarn.
Know that the man who spoke to them was an aging and weathered space dog.
Everett must have known—an old space dog like Everett could hardly be unaware that two decades of starfaring had nuked his innards—and that, Hardesty suspected, was why Everett had consented to be the triggerman. He didn’t care if he was apprehended. He was a dying man. He had nothing to lose. And to gain? Money. Credits. He had a wife and two kids.
J. Harvey Haggard, in Thrilling Wonder Stories
Last modified 2022-04-12 13:33:08
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.