A Slave is a Slave

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Author: H. Beam Piper
Published: 1962
Language: English
Wordcount: 22,007 / 74 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 69.6
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 3,692
Added to site: 2007.03.03
mnybks.net#: 16186

There has always been strong sympathy for the poor, meek, downtrodden slave--the kindly little man, oppressed by cruel and overbearing masters.

Could it possibly have been misplaced...?

Show Excerpt

t it. I think you're going to have a nice easy Proconsulate here, Count Erskyll."

Count Erskyll started to say something. No doubt he was about to tell Shatrak, cuttingly, that he didn't want an easy Proconsulate, but an opportunity to help these people. He was saved from this by the buzzing of Shatrak's communication-screen.

It was Colonel Pyairr Ravney, the Navy Landing-Troop commander. Like everybody else who had gone down to Zeggensburg, he was in battle-dress and armed; the transpex visor of his helmet was pushed up. Between Shatrak's generation and Count Erskyll's, he sported a pointed mustache and a spiky chin-beard, which, on his thin and dark-eyed face, looked distinctly Mephistophelean. He was grinning.

"Well, sir, I think we can call it a done job," he said. "There's a delegation here who want to talk to the Lords-Master of the ships on behalf of the Lords-Master of the Convocation. Two of them, with about a dozen portfolio-bearers and note-takers. I'm not too good in Lingua Te


Average Rating of 2.5 from 2 reviews: ***
Paulo Respighi

The galactic empire has a rule that all human-settled planets must join the empire and submit to its governance. Annexing Aditya was not a military problem--they had no effective army--but it was a hell of a political problem. Everyone on the planet who was not a Master was a Slave. There were no free citizens, there was no concept of freedom. Yet the galactic constitution forbade slavery.

The story follows the attempts of the galactic representatives to guide the Masters and Slaves to a new society. It is a bit dry at times. The characters are fairly well drawn. There is no woman anywhere in the story. The plotting is realistic.


The galactic federation likes to annex planets into membership, but how much control should be enforced over local affairs? It has a few good moments but overall a weak story.

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