Social living requires the elimination, or at very best, the modification of many elements necessary to survival in "nature". And when an emergency arises, very often it is the person who would be considered a "criminal", in other situations, who alone is able to cope with the necessities. If we manage to eliminate "violence" from human affairs, what will we find when a need for "violence" arises—a need outside of man's artificial control of his environment?
der what Varret told us? If this plague is as dangerous as he says, this is no time to--"
"Do you have to be so bloodthirsty?" complained Truesdale.
"I don't want to kill anybody," declared the girl; "maybe we could just disable the cruiser."
"Aw, kill your jets!" Brecken broke in. "I've been waiting for a chance like this for years. Don't get any ideas!"
"But listen!" pleaded Donna. "It's a terrible thing, but if we don't do it, we won't be safe on Mars ourselves; they'll land and set an epidemic loose."
"I'll take my chances with it," said Brecken. "You're supposed to know something about piloting. Now get us on a curve for Mars, an' be snappy about it!"
Donna turned desperately to Phillips.
"Why not look over the ship," the engineer suggested, "before we blast off on half our jets? We can make up our minds when we see what we have for fuel and weapons."
Brecken opened his mouth to object, but was smitten by an unpleasant thought. "Suppose the
The illustration is great--it's actually from the story--though the woman was wearing more clothes in the story.
The is an always-fatal plague in the asteroid belt, and a ship full of maddened, infected, asteroiders is heading to Mars to demand freedom (from what, is hard to tell).
This world to itself (the ship) has to be destroyed, but violence has been bred out of people, so the only people to do it are four convicted criminals from Luna Prison who have a history of violence: three men and a wrongly-convicted love interest.
The plot creaks in a few places, the characters fall in love awfully fast, and considering how nonviolent everyone is, there sure are a lot of A-bomb tipped missles for space ships to fire at each other.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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