“Cold Expectations” by Tom Godwin
AUTHOR and VOCABULARY
Tom Godwin (1915-1980) graduated from high school in Ohio. After that, he lived for many years in various small towns in the harsh and somewhat alien environment of the Mojave Desert. He later tried to earn a living in two very different fields — as a prospector and as a writer of science fiction. He published almost thirty short stories and several novels, including The Survivors (1958) and The Space Barbarians (1964). His later writing continued to explore similar themes about the harsh indifference of nature to human survival.
Write one paragraph below in the gray box telling how Tom Godwin’s background and experiences may have influenced the setting for “The Cold Equations.”
Tom Godwin’s experiences in the harsh Mojave Desert probably taught him of the cruel apathy of natural laws. His job as a prospector would have taught him quite a bit about living on a frontier. He expressed in the story his belief that some things cannot be prevented. In the end it was his experiences as a member of a frontier movement that most influenced the story.
Study these vocabulary words and their definitions from the story and then write the vocabulary word in the blanks in the sentences below. Every word will be used once. These sentences come directly from the story. If you are stuck, you can find these sentences in the story.
inured – accustomed to something difficult or painful
increments – small increases
recoiled – drew back in fear, surprise, or disgust
paramount – supreme; dominant
annihilate – destroy; demolish
irrevocable – irreversible; incapable of being canceled or undone
immutable – unchangeable; never changing or varying
ponderous – heavy and slow-moving
apprehension – dread; fear of a future event
ineffably – indescribably; inexpressibly
1. Additional fuel would be used during the hours of deceleration to compensate for the added mass of the stowaway,...