[LMB] Falling Free Chapter 1

Pat Mathews mathews55 at msn.com
Tue Jul 23 14:14:33 BST 2013

One question. Why - all these years after Ethan of Athos delivered what I considered the definitive word on the subject -- all these decades after the question filled the pages of 50s and 60s era science fiction - are we still debating whether funny-looking or lab-created or alien sentients are people? 

I, who am in my 70s and a fan for as long as the average retiree has been alive, grew up with it ringing in my ears that, yes, they are, and those who deny it are the villains of the story!. Which certainly formed my attitudes towards the wide variety of earth-born humans and any possibly intelligent creatures for the better. If, by today's harder standards, a wee bit on the sentimental side. 

The Quaddies talk and know what they're saying. They decidedly meet the Shylock test for "If you cut me, do I not bleed?" They think, they plan, they act, they bond with each other, they know friend from foe, and they can absorb all the human culture offered them in the time they have, let alone creating their own. 

And on a good many worlds, GalacTech would not only be considered seriously in the wrong, but would be the subject of public outrage, morally equivalent to Jacksonians. Certainly Beta Colony and Earth would be leading the outcry. 


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