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First published in If Nov 1954

Ed Doyle hurries back to Earth from Proxima Centauri and arrives just after his first son is born. He had been gone long enough to forget though that he and his wife Janet aren’t allowed contact with the boy who will instead be raised entirely by robots.

Nine years later, after separating from Janet, he returns again to Earth and meets his son for the first time. Peter, who is on track at that young age to become an organic chemist, is amused as his dad tries to convince him to live a simpler life with him in the Proxima system. After dismissing his father Peter tells the robot Doctor Bish that the smell of his dad reminded him of the odor of the laboratory animals, an observation Doctor Bish certainly agrees with.

Cast of characters

  • Ed and Janet Doyle
  • Peter Doyle – Ed and Janet’s son 
  • Doctor Bish – Ed and Janet’s robot doctor