Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Everett B Cole's "Millennium" (novella, free): Serf to feudal lord to dead!

There is a very old Sanskrit story from "Panchtantra" (~200 BC) that was part of my primary school curriculum: A jackal accidentally fell in a drum of blue dye. He noticed his color change in his image in the river & promptly declared him the new king of the jungle. Until the rains washed off his new color...

This story has a similar idea. A serf gets opportunity to kill his feudal lord during a hunt. He kills him & appropriates two powerful gadgets the lord had: one gives the wearer telepathic power; second makes the wearer invulnerable to any kind of attack. Things happen, & in time, by cleverly using these devices, he rises to be a feudal lord himself. A very cruel one.

Only the gadgets belong to a space faring society & were lost on this world during an accident on one of their visits. Now they're back to recover the gadgets. So they'll end the rein of the cruel lord as they recover their gadgets.

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, May 1955.
Download full text from Project Gutenberg, Manybooks, Feedbooks.
Rating: B.
Among the stories from Astounding/Analog issues edited by John Campbell.
Related: Stories of Everett B Cole.