The Year of the Jackpot


Robert A. Heinlein

In this 1952 short story from the science fiction magazine Galaxy, a statistician notices trends in everything from war and famine to women unexpectedly stripping off their clothes in public. He concludes that the year 1954 is going to be an exceptionally bad year. With his new girlfriend, he runs to the country to hide. As the world collapses around them, he reads his journals and finds an article of interest (because of its presentation of Heinlein's concept of research in the USSR as well as for its mathematical content and significance to the plot). Unfortunately for the protagonist, the implications of the article are worse than even he had imagined. Escaping to the country with his girlfriend was not sufficient precautions to escape the disaster that Dynkowski predicted with his mathematics.

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