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The Unwilling Professor by Arthur Porges

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"The Unwilling Professor" is a 1954 science fiction short story by Arthur Porges. It is about a smart alien from Venus who comes to Earth and is captured by two dumb kids.

I wasn’t too bad at math when I was growing up and going to school, but I sure could have used a tutor like the one in this story!

Non-Spoiler Summary

The Unwilling Professor illustration

Iglowt P. Slakmak, the goodwill ambassador from Venus, holds 3 advanced degrees and has just landed on Earth. Unfortunately for him he landed near a couple of bullies from a laughable fraternity at a second rate college in the United States. As the professor (who looks very much like an Earth rabbit) introduces himself and shows off his knowledge he is taken captive by the two boys who keep him locked up and promise to release him once the semester is over. The professor functions as a tutor for all the boys in the fraternity, and is treated quite poorly by them. Well the boys don’t keep their word (shocking huh?) and one semester turns into two, but the poor professor discovers an unwitting ally one day when he refuses to do any more tutoring. But will one accomplice be enough to save him?

My Two Cents

  • Story: 3 stars – I figure this is a pretty average story line for science fiction written in the 1950s. I’m not a big fan of aliens that look like Earth animals, however.
  • Writing: 4 stars – The writing was pretty good, and actually quite funny at times. I really liked all the subtle humor in this story!
  • Fun Factor: 3 stars – I realize I’m reading this story nearly 60 years after it was written, but it still seems like a clichéd story. It was fun to read, but nothing too stellar.

Where To Find The Unwilling Professor

  • This short story first appeared on January 1954 edition of Dynamic Science Fiction.
  • You can download "The Unwilling Professor" in many different free formats from the excellent web site Project Gutenberg.
  • It is also included in the Arthur Porges collection The Ruum and Other Science Fiction Stories.

Craving More SF Stories Like This One?

If you enjoyed "The Unwilling Professor" then you might also like "Mouse" by Fredric Brown – about a small vessel that lands in Central Park carrying a tiny but dangerous occupant!