Norman Spinrad's "Subjectivity" (short story, free): Nonsensical but funny parody of some genre tropes
- A government does something, anything, so a bored & restless population won't destroy the society. Howard L Myers' "econo-war"(?) series of dozen odd stories is primarily about this, but a lot of other authors have used it too.
- Mind drugs & hallucinations: My favorite story of the class is Rog Phillips' "The Yellow Pill" (download), may be the only one primarily on this subject that I've actually liked. This story features the super-drug "Omnidrene".
- How extreme loneliness affects individuals. See, e.g., Tom Godwin's "The Nothing Equation" (download), & Eric Frank Russell's "Tieline".
- A stubborn & crazy government.
Story summary.Solar Government has decided that man will go to stars. So a ship capable of traveling at half the light speed is built, capable of carrying 10 individuals to Alpha Centauri in a 16 year round-trip journey.
Only problem is: the ship gets lost & never returns; its crew going mad out of boredom. Next ship is built. And next... Every time, a new kind of crew is tried. Until the novel & crazy experiment with 13th ship which "succeeds" beyond everyone's imaginations...
Fact sheet.First published: Analog, January 1964.
Download full text from Project Gutenberg.
Among the stories edited by John Campbell for Astounding/Analog.
Related: Stories of Norman Spinrad.