Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Code Three Compleat

I first came across Rick Raphael's Code Three (you can read it online here) in the collection The World Turned Upside Down (edited by David Drake, Eric Flint and Jim Baen).

I recently found out that the story was eventually incorporated into a novel. I tracked down a copy; ex-library, somewhat beat up. But given the story (a futuristic police tale), it is somewhat appropriate that it be a bit weather-worn.

And now to read the book...

Code Three: The initial story in the fixup, previously read (see above) and available online (also see above). A couple of things struck me as I re-read the story. First, was the number of times the characters lit up cigarettes. You know something is becoming socially unacceptable when you really notice it in a story. Second was the mix of the crew (two men and a woman, a positive) but the way they treated each other (ethnic jokes that wouldn't go over well in anything other than a military or para-military unit). Third was the technology that you saw and did not see. The vehicles are an interesting mix of technologies: jet engines, tracks, hover abilities, integration of ground cameras ahead of the vehicle fed into the vehicle so you can scan ahead, etc. But what is missing? Why such large highways? Is there no freight traffic by air or rail? Taking notes by paper (e.g., information sent by a radio broadcast) in some ways seems as anachronistic at this point as lighting up a cigarette!

Another thing that struck me...this would make a good basis for a science fiction television series. Certainly no worse than some of the dreck that has been foisted upon us over the years.

Made up of: Code Three; Once a Cop; unnamed final third of book (not published as a separate short story).

Counts as one entry in the 2009 Year in Shorts.

No comments: