Earth-bound astronomer Romero Villiers invents a mass-transference device but dies just before he publicly announces it at a convention attended by three of his old classmates from college. They are suspected of triggering the heart attack that killed him and stealing his data, and Wendell Urth is called in to finger the guilty party.

Of the four Wendell Urth stories, I'd rank this one second , slightly below "The Key.” I think that Asimov has done a good job with the mystery, with the astronomic background which provides a solution, and with his characters, but having two neurotically eccentric scientists in the same story is a bit of overkill. That, however, is virtually the only weakness to the tale—the characters are, as I say, vivid, the backstory strong and believable, and it is quite solid.

(It also loses something since the 1990’s, now that the idea of photographing all the abstracts for the papers at a scientific convention seems odd. Why not just download them all onto your laptop?)

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