“Trigger Tide” is a 1950 science fiction short story by Wyman Guin. It is about a special operations agent sent to a water planet to assassinate the leader of the war movement.
“Time and tide wait for no man” – Geoffrey Chaucer
I am fascinated by the ocean’s tide even though I don’t live anywhere near the ocean. However, I did spend several weeks on some islands in the Pacific Ocean this past summer, and I was amazed at how different the shore line looked depending on the tide. Can you imagine what kinds of tides we would have if Earth had several moons? The planet in this cool little story has five satellites and that can make a huge difference in the size of the tides there – not to mention the effects it has on some of the minerals of the planet!
This story begins with the main character having been beaten senseless and robbed. He can’t even move for a couple of days, but when the planet’s deadly tide begins to come in he forces himself up and to a safe house. The Central Operator fixes him up, and while he is recovering the two of them begin to wonder why the agents on this planet are having such a difficult time accomplishing their tasks. Maybe it has something to do with the strange quartzcar? Or the agents’ sophisticated harnesses? Or maybe the planet’s strong tidal forces? Just as the time comes for them to attempt their mission once more, they think they’ve figured out what is really happening. That is good timing too, because the thugs are after them once again!
My Two Cents
- Story: – The overall plot of the story wasn’t the most unique I’ve ever seen – but the piezoelectric part was way cool!
- Writing: – The way the story is told makes it a little bit confusing at first, but as it goes on things become more clear and much more exciting!
- Fun Factor: – I couldn’t help being sucked into this story, and it got even cooler as it went on. A very fun read!
Where To Find Trigger Tide
- This short story first appeared in the October 1950 edition of Astounding Science Fiction.
- You can read “Trigger Tide” online for free at Szymon Sokol’s Baen CD web site.
- You can also find it in the excellent anthology The World Turned Upside Down.
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you liked “Trigger Tide” then you might also enjoy “The Crystal Crypt” by Philip K. Dick – about three human saboteurs who attack a Martian city and then flee to Earth.