... rich in the metals that kept the Terran Confederation going—one vital link in a galaxy-wide civilization. But the men of Fruyling’s World lived on borrowed time, knowing that slavery was outlawed throughout the Confederation—and that only the slave labor of the reptilian natives could produce the precious metals the Confederation needed!
As the first hints of the truth about Fruyling’s World emerge, the tension becomes unbearable—to be resolved only in the shattering climax of this fast-paced, thought-provoking story of one of today’s most original young writers.
“On Saturday, July 30, Dr. Johnson and I took a sculler at the Temple-stairs, and set out for Greenwich. I asked him if he really thought a knowledge of the Greek and Latin languages an essential requisite to a good education. JOHNSON. ‘Most certainly, Sir; for those who know them have a very great advantage over those who do not. Nay, Sir, it is wonderful what a difference learning makes upon people even in the common intercourse of life, which does not appear to be much connected with it.’ ‘And yet, (said I) people go through the world very well, and carry on the business of life to good advantage, without learning.’ JOHNSON. ‘Why, Sir, that may be true in cases where learning cannot possibly be of any use; for instance, this boy rows us as well without learning, as if he could sing the song of Orpheus to the Argonauts, who were the first sailors.’ He then called to the boy, ‘What would you give my lad, to know about the Argonauts?’ ‘Sir, (said the boy) I would give what I have.’ Johnson was much pleased with his answer, and we gave him a double fare. Dr. Johnson then turning to me, ‘Sir, (said he) a desire of knowledge is the natural feeling of mankind; and every human being, whose mind is not debauched, will be willing to give all that he has, to get knowledge.’”
The Life of Samuel Johnson, L. L. D.
“It has become a common catchword that slavery is the product of an agricultural society and cannot exist in the contemporary, mechanized world. Like so many catchwords, this one is recognizable as nonsense as soon as it is closely examined. Given that the upkeep of the slaves is less than the price of full automation (and its upkeep), I do not think we shall prove ourselves morally so very superior to our grandfathers.”
—H. D. Abel,
Essays in History and Causation