Monday, June 11, 2012

Norman Spinrad's "Outward Bound" (novelette, free)

This is a classic "technology as an enabler of freedom" story: government is hell bent to bury a newly developing technology because it cuts into some of its power - think decade old debates & controls on encryption, e.g.

In the story, it's the "Overdrive" - an FTL drive. Earth has a kingdom spanning a few stars, maintained with slower than light ships. These outworlds are always behind earth in technology because ships bringing them earth's information take decades or centuries. (Why don't the outworlds develop their own tech?)

Now someone is onto a theory that can lead to FTL, ending earth's hegemony. So earth has sent a military to nip the technology in the bud...

Fact sheet.

First published: Analog, March 1964.
Download full text from Baen Books.
Rating: B.
Among the stories from Astounding/Analog issues edited by John Campbell.
Related: Stories of Norman Spinrad.