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Potential Enemy

Mack Reynolds

Book Overview: 

science fiction short story by Mack Reynolds

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ORD HELP US IF IT JUST CAN'T BE DONE!

Alexander the Great had not dreamed of India, nor even Egypt, when he embarked upon his invasion of the Persian Empire. It was not a matter of being like the farmer: "I ain't selfish, all I want is the land that jines mine." It was simply that after regaining the Greek cities of Asia Minor from Darius, he could not stop. He could not afford to have powerful neighbors that might threaten his domains tomorrow. So he took Egypt, and the Eastern Satrapies, and then had to continue to India. There he learned of the power of Cathay, but an army mutiny forestalled him and he had to return to Babylon. He died there while making plans to attack Arabia, Carthage, Rome. You see, given the military outlook, he could not afford powerful neighbors on his borders; they might become enemies some day.

Alexander had not been the first to be faced with this problem, nor was he the last. So it was later with Rome, and later with Napole. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This little story is a dusty backwater of early SF but it certainly doesn't pull punches in its judgement of humanity as an overtly aggressive and paranoid race. Probably not on purpose, given 99 percent of characters from SF at this time seemed to be male, but it does particularly focus on males in

OK story with a very pessimistic view of a paranoid and hostile human race and how they deal with "aliens".

Good old humanity-bashing sci-fi short story from the 1950s.

The first ever alien spaceship discovered has an uncanny likeness to the Earth's own vessels. First contact is made and the enemy beings appear to be benign. What will the military make of them? An excellent take on the notion that we don't

Depressingly accurate I fear.