Thursday, February 24, 2011
"Oneness" – 1963 short story by James H. Schmitz about autocratic Earth and escape from penal Mars
Thanks to the industrious folks at Project Gutenberg, you can read or download "Oneness," a short story penned by American science fiction writer James H. Schmitz (1911-1981) and illustrated by artist Leo Summers (1925-1985). Originally published in the May 1963 issue of Analog Science Fact & Fiction magazine, the storyline revolves around an autocratic Earth, a penal Mars, and the escape, interrogation, and torture of a scientifically-trained specialist named Rainbolt. Here are the opening lines of the story:
Menesee entered his box between those of Directors Cornelius and Ojeda, immediately to the right of the Spokesman's Platform and with an excellent view of the prisoner. When Administrator Bradshaw and Spokesman Dorn had taken their places on the platform, Menesee seated himself, drawing the transcript of the day's proceedings towards him. However, instead of glancing over it at once, he spent some seconds in a study of the prisoner...
Thanks to Tinkoo Valia of the blog Variety SF for the tip and the summary!