Sunday, September 11, 2011

Frank Herbert's "Operation Haystack" (novelette, free): Spy exposes a secret society

One of the illustrations by van Dongen, accompanying the original publication of Operation Haystack by Frank Herbert in Astounding Science Fiction. Image shows the various clues that will help the detective pinpoint the origins of the secret society.
I got a feeling there is an undercurrent here, & it is a general comment on women's character. But I don't know the atmosphere in US when this story was written; someone familiar with the period will likely see more here.

While the plot itself is not much, it's a fast moving spy story: a government agent exposes a very old secret society of women with Arabic roots, determined to achieve a single goal - political control of the galaxy.

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, May 1959.
Download full text from Project Gutenberg, Manybooks, Feedooks.
Rating: B.
Among the stories from Astounding/Analog issues edited by John Campbell.
Related: Stories of Frank Herbert.