In any status-hungry culture, the level a man is assigned depends on what people think he is—not on what he is. And that, of course, means that only the deliberately phony has real status!
s, sir. A very dashing mustache."
Joe said sourly, "You think that's all I need to hit the big time. A dashing mustache, eh?"
"No," Freddy Soligen said, very slowly and evenly. "We're also going to need every bit of stock you've accumulated, major. We're going to have to buy your way into the columns of the fracas buff magazine. We're going to have to bribe my colleagues, the Telly camera crews, to keep you on lens when you're looking good, and, more important still, off it when you're not. We're going to have to spend every credit you've got."
"I see," Joe said. "And when it's all been accomplished, what do you get out of this, Freddy?"
Freddy Soligen laid it on the line. "When it's all been accomplished, you'll be an Upper. I'm ambitious, too, Joe. Just as ambitious as you are. I need an In. You'll be it. I'll make you. I have the know-how. I can do it. When you're made, you'll make me."
When Major Mauser, escorting Dr. Nadine Haer, daughter of the late
An entertaining read. One of the better stories on this site, though not so nearly perfect in its implementation. A little quick on the ending, but worth the time, nonetheless.
Fast-moving blend of satire and social commentary, military action and espionage, as only Mack Reynolds could do it.