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book cover of The Happy Unfortunate

The Happy Unfortunate

A Short Story by

ROLF DEKKER stared incredulously at the slim, handsome young Earther who was approaching the steps of Rolf's tumbling-down Spacertown shack. He's got no ears, Rolf noted in unbelief. After five years in space, Rolf had come home to a strangely-altered world, and he found it hard to accept.

Another Earther appeared. This one was about the same size, and gave the same impression of fragility. This one had ears, all right-and a pair of gleaming, two-inch horns on his forehead as well. I'll be eternally roasted, Rolf thought. Now I've seen everything.

Both Earthers were dressed in neat, gold-inlaid green tunics, costumes which looked terribly out of place amid the filth of Spacertown, and their hair was dyed a light green to match.

He had been scrutinizing them for several moments before they became aware of him. They both spotted him at once and the one with no ears turned to his companion and whispered something. Rolf, leaning forward, strained to hear.

"... beautiful, isn't he? That's the biggest one I've seen!"

"Come over here, won't you?" the horned one called, in a soft, gentle voice which contrasted oddly with the raucous bellowing Rolf had been accustomed to hearing in space. "We'd like to talk to you."

Just then Kanaday emerged from the door of the shack and limped down to the staircase.

The doctor refused to change Dekker, so Dekker was going to change the doctor.

"Hey, Rolf!" he called. "Leave those things alone!"

"Let me find out what they want first, huh?"

"Can't be any good, whatever it is," Kanaday growled. "Tell them to get out of here before I throw them back to wherever they came from. And make it fast."

The two Earthers looked at each other uneasily. Rolf walked toward them.

"He doesn't like Earthers, that's all," Rolf explained. "But he won't do anything but yell."

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Used availability for Robert Silverberg's The Happy Unfortunate

Paperback Editions

June 2016 : UK Paperback

Title: The Happy Unfortunate
Author(s): Silverberg Robert
ISBN: 1-318-95345-6 / 978-1-318-95345-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: HardPress Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

October 2014 : USA Paperback

Title: The Happy Unfortunate
Author(s): Robert Silverberg
ISBN: 1-5025-7521-3 / 978-1-5025-7521-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Availability: Amazon   

Audio Editions

2018 : New Zealand MP3 CD

Title: The Happy Unfortunate
Author(s): Robert SILVERBERG (1935 - )
ISBN: 1-77674-709-7 / 978-1-77674-709-2 (New Zealand edition)
Publisher: IDB Productions
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

January 2017 : USA Audio edition

Title: The Happy Unfortunate
Author(s): Robert Silverberg
Publisher: Audioliterature
Availability: Amazon   

Kindle Editions

June 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: The Happy Unfortunate
Author(s): Robert, 1935- Silverberg
Publisher: HardPress
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

March 2011 : USA Kindle edition

Title: The Happy Unfortunate
Author(s): Robert Silverberg
Availability: Amazon