A ghost sues for the right to haunt a house.
I actually first read this story in The Edge of Never edited by Robert Hoskins. It is also one of the very few times Asimov collaborated with someone on a piece of short fiction—in this case, his very good friend Fred Pohl. Pohl was also the only person who ever acted as Asimov’s agent (if only for a few years), Asimov’s collaborator on Our Angry Earth, and one of the very few poeple who could get away with calling the Good Doctor “Ike.” Nor is Pohl is a slouch at science fiction. He has numerous Hugos and Nebulas. He’s edited countless magazines, including legendary stints running both Galaxy and If. He became a Grand Master in 1993, six years after Asimov. As of 2010, he’s still alive and still writing.
I happen to enjoy Pohl’s writing quite a bit, and that includes his collaborations with Asimov. I’d recommend both “Legal Rites” and “The Little Man on the Subway”—but this one a little more than the other. As with “Galley Slave” and “The Merchant Princes,” my fondness for courtroom dramas translates into fondness for the stories in which they appear, and this is a most memorable trial.
As with some of Asimov’s other fantasies such as “Author! Author!,” this work has sunk into an undeserved obscurity.
|The Early Asimov|