This is an actual thiotimoline story, not a spoof of scientific papers. In it, a pompous admiral addresses the graduating class of ‘22 of the Astronautic Academy. He describes thiotimoline and its legendary discoverer, Azimuth (or is it Asymptote?), and how it has made it possible to travel through space. The speech involves a demonstration, in fact—only the demonstration does not quite come off and the flight ends in a slightly different location from the one intended.

This story was written for a memorial volume in honor of John Campbell shortly after his death, sort of a festschrift. The volume was called simply Astounding and was edited by Harry Harrison—and it’s well worth the effort of reading, if you can manage it.

This is actually a pleasant enough and funny enough story. It continues the silly science associated with this truly bizarre chemical, but it is not quite as funny as the earlier thiotimoline “articles” and therefore gets a spaceship-and-sun knocked off. It nearly gets that spaceship-and-sun back by referring to Asimov by some of the more common distortions of his last name used by various would-be jokesters. It’s still quite good, however, and easily one of the highlights of Buy Jupiter and Other Stories.

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