pulpfan (pulpfan) wrote,

Mack Reynolds: Not in the Rules

Mack Reynolds is a vastly underappreciated author.

I just read this short story, and enjoyed it. He manages to weave a number of threads together:

  • World-building: creating an image of a future interplanetary society in which conflicts are resolved by gladitorial combat.

  • Related: conveys an image of how such a combat would be conducted.

  • Some nice comedy, with a gladiator from Earth who makes a hash of references from earth history, in his attempt to impress a woman reporter he is pursuing.

  • But, best of all, (SPOILER ALERT {highlight to read}) he attains victory in the end because, even though he gets confused about specific names and eras, he remembers and applies key concepts from earth history.

So, even though it is, primarily, meant as an entertainment (and succeeds to that extent), it makes a valid point about the importance of learning the *principles* behind history, and _applying_ them, in order to succeed!

Good story! Well recommended!

Tags: mack reynolds

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