Finding the Laxian Key


Subtext:  'The Laxian Key'  - for those who may wish to know - is the title of a short story first published in Galaxy Sci-Fi magazine sixty years ago.

Note: This is not the subject here. It only serves as a parallel for a far more real and urgent dilemma. 


The author was Robert Sheckley (1928-2005) and the storyline centred around the chance discovery of an indestructible alien artefact, a so-called 'free producer' dedicated to furnishing unlimited quantities of food for a race of other-worldly beings. Once activated, this machine taps into every type of power supply and energy source imaginable, overproducing so massively that blanketing the surface of an entire planet with its unceasing (and inedible) product is well within its prime directive.  


And it can only be shut down by using something called a Laxian Key, a device whose very nature and whereabouts had become well and truly lost with the passage of time. 


Last line: "...but, if you ever find a Laxian Key, come back. We'll erect ten statues to you!"

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Anthony Altman | Reply 01.12.2014 05.39

Hi John. Let me have your email address, as I would like to enter into a dialogue with you, as I have something pertinent and positive to offer.

John Cronin 01.12.2014 12.40

I'm OK with that, Anthony.
My email address is:
Where are you based? That's just to get some idea of the time zones involved.

John Cronin | Reply 08.05.2014 14.46

Thank you, Gerry.
I last read the story in my mid teens so you can imagine just how far back in time that was. But I still recall it. Is it online or on paper?

Gerry | Reply 08.05.2014 01.47

Just read the short story. The last line is "... if you ever find a Laxian key, come back. We'll erect ten statues to you!"

John | Reply 26.03.2014 01.51

I think, Martin, we may have lost ourselves in a maze of emails. Let's start again. Have you read through the entire Laxian Key and did you get my last email?

martin | Reply 26.03.2014 00.31

John. I read John Yorke--2007

Is that it?

John Cronin | Reply 26.03.2014 00.21

Martin, I'll be back in 20 mins. If you're still around, I'll try to sort something out then.

Martin | Reply 25.03.2014 23.32

JOHN! OK, I'm on the site--where's what you want me to read? Why not just attach it to an email, like I did. I'm not trying to be difficult.

t0m | Reply 31.05.2013 16.20


John Cronin 31.05.2013 16.40

Peace. One day at a time.

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Latest comments

11.12 | 19:22

As far as I can judge, Liz, violence is endemic to both sides and has been so for several generations. Whether it is Israeli or Palestinian is beside the point.

11.12 | 19:17

The 'Key' is an internal and an external solution at one and the same time. There is scope for each type of input, a combination that makes the best use of both

11.12 | 16:42

This dialectically is a good idea - but externally-applied solutions rarely work, and outsiders imposing their supposed "superiority" only complicates.

11.12 | 16:31

Hate your phrasing, ascribing "violence" to Israel but no similar denunciation for seventy years of "Palestinian" attacks... I call bullshit on your orientation

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