I am pretty sure this story was written by a woman in the 1940s. I believe the locale is Venus; the planet is part of the Terran Empire, but the Empire is failing, and the Terran garrison is in retreat and about to abandon the planet entirely. The story is told from the point of view of a Venusian woman, the mistress of a Terran officer and a secret member of the underground. She has orders to assassinate the officer with (I remember this vividly) a glass knife that breaks up in the wound. I am pretty sure she is love with him and joins the retreat.

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    I'm pretty confident that this is not Brackett, but there are obviously lots of other planetary romance authors.
    – Buzz
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 1:05

1 Answer 1


Google book search turned up Journey to Infinity, by Martin Greenberg, 1951. Here's a snippet:

Is the glass knife broken yet ? " “ Not yet , " said ... Watching the avid eyes fixed upon her all around the fire , she went on : “ The last Patrol is leaving Venus . ... Venus under Venusian rule , after three hundred years of Earth tyranny ! Is it true ...

Does it look right? (Not a female author - but it is set on Venus and has a scene with a glass knife.)

UPDATE: May have also been published as a short-story in Astounding Science Fiction, Volume 28 Issue 6, 1942. Here's a snippet from that:

Venus under Venusian rule , after three They had risen - all but the hooded old one hundred years of Earth tyranny ! Is it true , not in deference ... One of the tribe leaders leaned forward , jutting Is the glass knife broken yet ? " a scarred , wolfish ...

The story itself is There Shall Be Darkness by C. L. Moore

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    I think your searching skills are awesome: you found the story. You just need to write the name of the story and the author in your answer! Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 2:54
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    Thanks for the edit help Organic Marble! I appreciate it. Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 2:59
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    WHAT THE - ! I actually OWN a copy of 'Journey to Infinity' and I forgot this story was in it! Thank you for your help! And, speaking of Moore, don't forget she wrote 'Vintage Season', which is near the top of my all-time best list. Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 3:31
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    @Lee Eckhardt - Oh man! Yeah, "Vintage Season" is one of my all time favorites as well!! Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 3:52
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    The second blockquote looks like it was scanned in two-column format and is now printed out of order.
    – hobbs
    Commented Dec 16, 2020 at 19:33

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