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Day of the Moron

H. Beam Piper

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Come on in, Sid," Melroy told him. "Dr. Rives, this is our general foreman, Sid Keating. Sid, Dr. Rives, the new dimwit detector. Sid's in direct charge of personnel," he continued, "so you two'll be working together quite a bit."

"Glad to know you, doctor," Keating said. Then he turned to Melroy. "Scott, you're really going through with this, then?" he asked. "I'm afraid we'll have trouble, then."

"Look, Sid," Melroy said. "We've been all over that. Once we start work on the reactors, you and Ned Puryear and Joe Ricci and Steve Chalmers can't be everywhere at once. A cybernetic system will only do what it's been assembled to do, and if some quarter-wit assembles one of these things wrong—" He left the sentence dangling; both men knew what he meant.

Keating shook his head. "This union's going to bawl like a branded calf about it," he predicted. "And if any of the dear sirs and brothers get washed out—" That sentence didn't need to b. . . Read More

Community Reviews

As my grandparents used to say, every day is moron day!


What the hell kind of name is Beam, any way? Zachary Quinto, what do you think?

Can't wait to read this.

Deals with a topic that is very relevant today. Interesting even if only for that fact. Has a rather dramatic and rushed ending, and the main character is a bit overboard in how "manly" he is in the face of a catastrophe but I can let that pass considering the date of publication. Piper did let me d

Underdeveloped short about workers at a nuclear power plant undergoing intelligence tests to determine capability for such a critical job, and the union getting in the way. Ultimately it just wasn't a very memorable story.

Should there be an intelligence test for highly sensitive jobs? Dangerous ones with huge ramifications to the general public if it's done wrong? Probably, but only if the Union gets a say!

I liked this story and was left shaking my head that the true-to-life 'defense of the stupid because he's our ma

2019 grade C

Kindle Mega-pack

The dumb action of one stupid worker can kill many. Too many long paragraphs, too depressing, and too repetitive. I also suspect the protagonist would not have passed the test either.

This story is a perfect example why I like to read classic 50s science fiction stories. This was published in 1951 but the story takes place in 1968. It is fun to read what Mr. Piper thought it would be like in 1968.

The last type of employees you want working in a power station are "people who push buttons to see what'll happen."

In short, morons.

A major contractor hires Dr. Doris Rives ('the new dimwit detector') to root out the dummies during a series of intelligence tests, but not all the staff are happy abo

I t is rare for me to read a novel or short story and demand to know "What happened next?!?" But I really, really wanted this story to continue! I am absolutely astounded that some editor didn't demand Piper turn it into a full novel; it seems like the story was just getting started.

Written in the

Even in the advanced days of 1968, there were people who remained unconvinced of the safety nuclear reaction plants. One of them was electronics engineer Scott Melroy, head of Melroy Engineering Corp. who has been brought into install fully cybernetic control systems at the Long Island Nuclear React

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