Prize Ship

Paycheck and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
Buy it on Amazon
First published in Thrilling Wonder Stories Winter 1954

The only way for Terran ships to resupply the Earth’s colonies at Promixa is from the launching point at Ganymede. The Ganymedeans realize the leverage they have and hold their launch pads as ransom, demanding twenty per cent of all goods for their continued use. Just as Earth is about to give in to this arrangement they get a report of a captured Ganymedean ship.

Four men volunteer to pilot the ship hoping it can reach Promixa. The first place they land is populated by tiny humans six inches tall. The second place they encounter is ruled by giants. At this point the men have recognized the similarities to Johnathan Swift’s fictional lands of Lilliput and Brobdingnag. Before they are crushed by a giant they return to Earth where a Ganymedean, who has arrived to claim the Gany property, informs them they were actually traveling in time and explains how the relativity of size in the expanding universe shrinks the past and enlarges the future.

Cast of characters

  • General Thomas Groves, Major Stiller, Commander James Carmichel, Doctor Earl Basset – volunteers who take the captured Ganymedean ship on a test run