Alexei Panshin's The Abyss of Wonder



    (. . . 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.

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Originally published in The Proceedings of the Institute for Twenty-First Century Studies #139, March 1961.

Graphics by Kelly