The Adventurer

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Author: C.M. Kornbluth
Published: 1953
Language: English
Wordcount: 5,951 / 25 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 75.4
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 8,865
Added to site: 2009.09.05 25200

For every evil under the sun, there's an answer. It may be a simple, direct answer; it may be one that takes years, and seems unrelated to the problem. But there's an answer—of a kind....

Show Excerpt

my father's--artistic--preoccupations obliterated as soon as possible. I wish the Republic to assume a war-like posture--yes; what is it?"

A trembling messenger said: "Mr. President, I have the honor to inform you that the College of Electors has elected you President of the Republic--unanimously."

* * * * *

Cadet Fourth-Classman Thomas Grayson lay on his bunk and sobbed in an agony of loneliness. The letter from his mother was crumpled in his hand: "--prouder than words can tell of your appointment to the Academy. Darling, I hardly knew my grandfather but I know that you will serve as brilliantly as he did, to the eternal credit of the Republic. You must be brave and strong for my sake--"

He would have given everything he had or ever could hope to have to be back with her, and away from the bullying, sneering fellow-cadets of the Corps. He kissed the letter--and then hastily shoved it under his mattress as he heard footsteps.

He popped to a brace, but it was only his roomma


Average Rating of 3.4 from 5 reviews: ****
Leah A. Zeldes

This 1953 short story continues themes from Kornbluth's more famous "The Marching Morons": A future where the mentally deficient are leaders of the country and more intelligent people try to run things behind the scenes. You have to wonder what Kornbluth would have thought of these times, given how scathing about politicians he was back then.

Henry L. Ratliff

(1953) Sci-fi (Future political) / Short story (magazine)

From Space Science Fiction May 1953

R: * * *

Plot bullets

  • It is the distant future. The US is governed by a dictator, the 24th in the hereditary line.

  • A man arises to attempt an overthrow of that government.

  • Such dynamic strong men willint to shape history are referred to as: The Adventurer.

  • This man finds that he was unknowingly groomed for the position.

  • The scheme works, but not as expected, but the outcome is not unique in history.

Sardo Weems

Similar in theme to The Boys From Brazil, well-written and to the point. The corporal rises through the ranks rather quickly, but a good read if you get absorbed in the story and can overlook the plot holes until you finish the story.

Dick Thornton

A very good story, Mr. Kornbluth keeps your attention and provides a lot of entertainment in a short story.


Starts out promising but never goes anywhere.

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