Twelve-year-old Richard Hanshaw is forced one day to walk to school when the teleportation device in his home, the Door, breaks down. He enjoys it so much he starts doing it every day, driving his teacher and mother to distraction. Eventually, his mother calls in a psychiatrist who goes on a walk with Richard to find out why the boy likes walking to school so much, and the answer ends up being a surprising one.
This happens to be one of my favorite stories by Asimov. There are a number of reasons for this, but chief among them, I think, deals with one of the main differences between Asimov and me: he was claustrophilic, and I am agoraphilic. He worked best shut up in a window-less room, where he could limit his horizons to himself and his typewriter. I, on the other hand, like few things more than to go outside by myself and go for a walk.
The result is that I can really relate to young Richard Hanshaw, and have been doing so from the time when I was his age myself. Attractive though I find the idea of teleportation, I would agree with him that a long, peaceful walk cross-country walk in the open air beats it hands down.
In any event, this is a delightful little story and an interesting look at a teleport-driven future. Well, well worth while.
|Through a Glass, Clearly|
|Nightfall and Other Stories|
|It’s Such a Beautiful Day|
|The Best Science Fiction of Isaac Asimov|
|Complete Stories, The, Vol. 1|