The Instant of Now

Author: Irving E. Cox
Published: 1953
Language: English
Wordcount: 16,964 / 57 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 72.4
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 5,251
Added to site: 2010.03.16 27015

Revolution is not necessarily a noble thing. Unless shrewdly directed, its best elements may fall victim to its basest impulses.

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Incentive! You amaze me, Edward. I haven't heard the word used in just that context since I was a boy. You're a throwback--an anachronism. You sound like one of the elderly prophets of doom. I thought the breed had died out generations ago." The professor laughed again. "So our system creates no incentives. Tell me, Edward, why are you spending your Work-Equivs to take my night course?"

"Because, when I've passed enough university hours I can take the promotional test and become a full-fledged space-pilot."

"And still you say there's no incentive?"

"For myself, yes--but all of us ought to have the same kind of drive," said Dirrul.

"Such a condition never existed, Edward. Always there have been a few to make the inventions and the discoveries, a few to create the new dreams and frame the new ideas. Our people are no different. Incentive comes from within the individual--it cannot be imposed from the outside.

"The poorest sort of incentive, therefore, is economic need. Our sys


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Average Rating of 3 from 2 reviews: ***
Paulo Respighi

A pretty good interstellar spy story with some philosophical nonsense thrown in as an attempt to be profound.
Two empires have divided up the galaxy after a war led to a stalemate. A dissatisfied star pilot trainee has joined the underground. He is fed up with his endlessly questioning and flexible side and wants something more direct and effective, so he betrays his people. Then he gets to the other side's planet.
The story's strength is its plotting. Everything outside of that is unoriginal.


Average galactic we-and-the-others action SF novelette, with a mind-control theme.

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