One man stood between a power-hungry cabaland world mastery—but a man of unusual talents.
ut into deep water. Above it were store-houses, machine rooms, kitchens, all the paraphernalia of modern existence. He stepped out of a kiosk onto an upper deck, thirty feet above the surface. Nobody else was there and he walked over to the railing and leaned on it, looking across the water and savoring loneliness.
Below him the tiers dropped away to the main deck, flowing lines and curves, broad sheets of clear plastic, animated signs, the grass and flowerbeds of a small park, people walking swiftly or idly. The huge gyro-stabilized bulk did not move noticeably to the long Pacific swell. Pelican Station was the colony's "downtown," its shops and theaters and restaurants, service and entertainment.
Around it the water was indigo blue in the evening light, streaked with arabesques of foam, and he could hear waves rumble against the sheer walls. Overhead the sky was tall with a few clouds in the west turning aureate. The hovering gulls seemed cast in gold. A haziness in the darkened east betokened
After the third world war, a set of psychologists, sociologists, and historians formed an Institute to explore the human mind and to predict political and historical trends scientifically. One of their top men was kidnapped by a group wanting the secret findings of the Institute for the purposes of manipulating people and dominating the world.
The Institute sends out one of their trained men to find and rescue the professor, and the kidnappers find out first hand what the Institute is capable of.
The plot kept me guessing. The characters are nothing special, but they do their jobs.
Poul Anderson's extrapolation of the 1950's "science" of psychology into the future. Unfortunately, psychology never managed to leave voodoo behind. But even the author's careful projections were way off. This shows how much overhyped it always was. Apart from that, a well written novella.