Saturday, January 06, 2007

One of my favorite sci-fi stories...

...is one for which I absolutely cannot remember the title or the author's name. It has been bugging me for quite some time, mainly because I know I have the book somewhere and I want to read it again.

The nut of the story line (as I recall it) was essentially this: an intergalactic traveler comes to a planet where he is received warmly. In fact, he is soon offered the post of ruler of the planet, with a good salary and a palace thrown in for good measure. He accepts, puts on the medallion of office and begins his reign.

In time, he inquires about the fate of the former ruler and thus learns the significance of the medallion he must wear. It seems all citizens of the planet has two buttons in their homes: one is pushed whenever the ruler does something the citizen approves of. The other registers disapproval.

When enough negative votes on the ruler's performance are recorded, the medallion explodes, thus vaporizing the unpopular headman. This, of course, causes Our Hero to immediately resign the office and flee to a more hospitable planet.

I present this synopsis for two reasons: first, I hope someone else has read this story, and can tell me what it was called and who wrote it.

The other reason? It strikes me that the author came up with a hell of a good idea, and there might be something in it worth considering for our present-day "rulers...."

3 comments:

Birdie said...

sorry, I can't help you with the title or author, but he had a pretty good idea there!

lowandslow said...

We'd be "leaderless" before lunch on day one. What an improvement that would be! :)

John said...

That would induce them to limit the power of government if they had any sense. Less stuff to be responsible for.