Built Up Logically can be found in




ISFDB.org Magazine Entry



THE MAGAZINE OF Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fall 1950

This joyous record of a world where life goes off at a tangent was first printed in a "little magazine" called "Retort." Our careful study of this story has discovered only one factor that has not been explained by Howard Schoenfeld within the framework of his own logic. While everything else is carefully arranged within his mad pattern, he neglects to define for us the profession of BirdSmith. It is far too easy (and sane) to assume that a Bird Smith is one who devotes his energies to forging metal replicas of various birds. Such a reasonable assumption has no place in Mr. Schoenfeld's mad universe. It will be obvious to the reader that the profession of BirdSmith must be an arcane calling having nothing to do with either birds or smithies. And if you complain that this discussion of BirdSmithing hasn't much relation to the following story, the story has little to do with the ordered life you live.

Built Up Logically

by HOWARD SCHOENFELD

"THE UNIVERSAL PANACEA," Frank said, lighting a cigar. "Have one."

I took it.

"Light up, man."

"It's great, man."

We walked up Fifth Avenue toward Fourteenth Street.

"Stop," Frank said. We came to a halt.

Frank put his hand out in front of him and moved it back and forth a couple of times, inventing the rabbit. Getting the feel of the creature's fur, he built it up logically from the feel. It was the only animal that could have produced that particular feel, and I was proud of him for thinking of it. "Marvelous," I said, looking at it.

The rabbit sat on its haunches, a bundle of white fur with pink eyes. Dilating its nostrils, it hopped away from us, disappearing into an open doorway. I'd never seen a more ingenious invention.

"Amazing," I said.

"Nothing really," Frank said. "Watch this."

Frank was a tall thin-lipped man with a round forehead. Beads of perspiration appeared on his forehead. His face became taut, then relaxed.

"Feel anything?" he asked.

My brain tingled curiously. Something was being impinged on it. It was the consciousness of rabbits, their place in the scheme of things. I knew they'd been with us always.

Frank grinned.

"Not only you, but practically every man, woman, and child in the world thinks that now. Only I know differently."

It was uncanny.

We got in a cab and went up to the Three Sevens, a night club on Fifty-second Street. Inside, the place was crowded with jazz enthusiasts, listening to the Sevens. At the bar a man in a grey overcoat was reading a manuscript to a blonde girl in her teens. I went over and listened.

This was what he read:

"The Universal Panacea," Frank said, lighting a cigar....

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