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“Pate de Foie Gras” by Isaac Asimov
Card picked: Five of Clubs
From: Asimov’s Mysteries
I couldn’t tell you my real name if I wanted to, and, under the circumstances, I don’t want to. … I was not the first person to have the honor of meeting The Goose.
Instead of going for a whodunit in “Pate de Foie Gras,” Asimov presents a scientific mystery in the guise of a shadowy, cloak and dagger fantasy. But if this story were an episode of The X-Files, it wouldn’t be one of those super serious arch stories. It would be “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space,” humorous and meta in its telling.
Our unnamed scientist, in the employ of the Department of Agriculture, visits a farmer who has been very interested in rearing geese. Or rather, a goose. A goose with the rather interesting knack for laying golden eggs.
Asimov is probably at his best when he’s not being too serious and when the story involves chemistry and biochemistry. These were the sciences that were his forte. They have also aged better than his extrapolations about computers and space exploration. Overall, “Pate de Foie Gras” is a fun, science fiction story.