"Citadel" is a 1955 science fiction novelette by Algis Budrys. It is about some future Earth politicians who take advantage of aliens and Earthmen alike.
Who Needs Enemies?
Have you ever known people who appear to be your friend, but actually are plotting for your demise? I sure have – what a joy they turned out to be! Here is the story of how people like that might actually help advance human civilization in the future. They’re still jerks though!
David Marlowe, Secretary for External Affairs of the Solar Union, and his assistant Mr. Mead are a little bit ruthless in their dealings with others. First there is the claustrophobic old man who is just trying to make a living selling real estate on another planet – and it seems Mr. Marlowe and Mr. Mead have some different plans for him. And then there is the alien observer from Dovenil, Dalish ud Klavan. The two men use him to turn a potentially embarrassing situation into an asset for Earth and its people. I guess that’s not too surprising – it’s just how they go about it that really shows their true colors!
Some Interesting Tidbits
- Word count: 8,698 (18 pages)
- Did you know that Algis Budrys was the son of a general in the Lithuanian government? Yep. You can learn more about this prolific author at Wikipedia.
- Special thanks to QuasarDragon web site for pointing me towards this story!
Where To Find Citadel
- This short story first appeared in the February 1955 edition of Astounding Science Fiction.
- You can read "Citadel" for free at Project Gutenberg.
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you enjoyed "Citadel" then you may also like "A Matter of Importance" by Murray Leinster – about a couple of inter-stellar policemen who are investigating the disappearance of an inter-planetary spaceship.