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I was reading this story-id request and it reminded me of story I read somewhere in the mid 90s to the early 2000s in an anthology. A scientist finds a way to explode the iron in the Earth's crust. I want to say that it was something like a Fission bomb, but with iron rather than Uranium. At the time, it reminded me of the story I'd heard of how, in early development of fission bombs, they always did air bursts because there was a fear that the nuclear reaction wouldn't stop, and might consume the rest of the Earth.

Anyhow, he reflects that, once the process is available, sooner or later, someone was going to use it, probably not a major government but a fringe organization or country who didn't care about the consequences. He considers destroying his research, but then reflects on an unhappy childhood, including a fair amount of bullying, and decides to publish.

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24

Strongly reminiscent of "Judgement Day" by L. Sprague de Camp.

(this is actually more likely to be the answer)

In this one, the scientist muses about his life and how everyone was always mean to him, and then decides to release the research about how to cause iron to explode atomically anyway.

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  • 1
    That does look very promising. Weirdly enough, it's being the harder one to find in the library...
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 3 '17 at 13:54
  • 4
    I found a copy online. This is the right one.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 3 '17 at 13:56
  • 1
    Oddly, I have it in 2 collections - A Gun for Dinosaur, and Best of de Camp. Nov 3 '17 at 13:56
  • 2
    Yeah. My library had neither of those, nor did I have ebook versions. But I found it on Google Books.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 3 '17 at 13:56
  • Perhaps you should include some evidence from the books to make your answer absolutely sure. Nov 4 '17 at 10:08
11

Strongly reminiscent of "The Reunion" by Paul J. Nahin although some details differ.

In this story, the scientist discovers a foolproof way of predicting the location and strength of earthquakes.

It turns out that his class reunion is going to be right at the epicenter of a huge earthquake. After thinking about the bullying and humiliation he suffered at the hands of his classmates, he decides to wait on publishing his method until after the reunion.

1
  • Huh. My memory is stuck on the iron in the crust, but I've requested a book with this story from the library to see if maybe I am confusing details.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Nov 3 '17 at 13:44

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