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Ministry of Disturbance

H. Beam Piper

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Nobody voted except the nonworkers, whose votes were bought and sold wholesale, by gangster bosses to pressure groups, and no decent person would be caught within a hundred yards of a polling place on an election day. He called the Minister of Security.

Prince Travann was a man of his own age—they had been classmates at the University—but he looked older. His thin face was lined, and his hair was almost completely white. He was at his desk, with the Sun and Cogwheel of the Empire on the wall behind him, but on the breast of his black tunic he wore the badge of his family, a silver planet with three silver moons. Unlike Count Duklass, he didn't wait to be spoken to.

"Good morning, Your Majesty."

"Good morning, Your Highness; sorry to bother you. I just caught an interesting item in your report. This business on Amaterasu. What sort of a planet is it, politically? I don't seem to recall."

"Why, they have a republi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

2019 grade C

A 60 page political SciFi novelette. I think there was a lot of satire and sarcasm in the story. But the story was a bit long and wordy. It sort of went over my head and bored me at the same time. It is well written, as Piper always is, but not good enough.

Kindle Mega-pack

An interesting read, and particularly worth considering given the current events happening around the world.

Solid scientific/political short story set in Piper's Federation universe. For what it was, I'm impressed that the author managed to squeeze in some character development and throw in a slight twist at the end. It seemed that the plot was heading inevitably towards one outcome when something comp...more

The Goodreads blub says it all on this one. The only thing I can add is that it was excellent. You seldom find character development in a short story strong enough to make you like/care for one of them, but this one does. The intrigue in this story kept me guessing, and outsmarted me, until the e...more