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Published: 1953
Language: English
Wordcount: 13,093 / 46 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 66.4
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 5,141
Added to site: 2007.08.05 17832

In a world where Security is all-important, nothing can ever be secure. A mountain-climbing vacation may wind up in deep Space. Or loyalty may prove to be high treason. But it has its rewards.

This etext was produced from Space Science Fiction February, 1953.

Show Excerpt

e evolution of warfare made a successful fighting machine something elaborate, expensive, and maintainable by professionals only. Like in the Roman Empire. It took years to train a legionnaire and a lot of money to equip an army and keep it in the field. So Rome became autarchic. However, it was not so expensive a proposition that a rebellious general couldn't put some troops up for a while--or he could pay them with plunder. So you did get civil wars. Later, when the Empire had broken up and warfare relied largely on the individual barbarian who brought his own weapons with him, government loosened. It had to--any ruler who got to throwing his weight around too much would have insurrection on his hands. Then as war again became an art--well, you see how it goes. There are other factors, of course, like religion--ideology in general. But by and large, it's worked out the way I explained it. Because there are always people willing to fight when government encroaches on what they consider their liberties, and g

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.3 from 3 reviews: *****
Paulo Respighi

A scientist in a future, totalitarian, America finds that given enough "need to know" security, it's possible to have no idea whom you are working for. And that maybe it doesn't even matter. It's a twisting, acrobatic story, not much on characterization, but the plotting carries it along.

Leah A. Zeldes

A scientist in a totalitarian future America experiences the extremes of homeland security. Rather prophetic.

R Stephan

Interesting spy plot in a hard SF novella by a master. Poul Anderson knew 50 years ago why people are digging tantalum out of the Congo now.



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