Alexei Panshin's The Abyss of Wonder
|PHIL FARMER SAYS:
(. . . I would also like to point out that Scribner's did reject Starship Soldiers. This, by the way, shows that publishers do have integrity; they must have realized what the loss of Heinlein to them meant, yet they spurned his book for moral reasons.)
. . . One more point. I wasn't shocked by Heinlein's SS; I thought it a well-written and almost convincing novel although on the tractish side. But Heinlein, at least in the magazine version I read, was not thoroughly realistic. He did not say a word about the well-known and thoroughly authenticated tendency of the military system to be stupid. (For authentication, I refer you to your own observations and Pitkin's A Short Introduction to the History of Human Stupidity.) A world ruled by veterans would be as mismanaged, graft-ridden, and insane as one ruled by men who had never gotten near the odor of blood and guts. Look at your average Legionnaire.
I do agree with Heinlein's main point. That
is, we'd better get up off our ass and outbug the bugs, or we're done for.
And we won't do it with a nation of softies.
Originally published in The Proceedings of the Institute
for Twenty-First Century Studies #139, March 1961.