The Sky is Falling / Badge of Infamy

Lester del Rey
The Sky is Falling / Badge of Infamy Cover

The Sky is Falling/Badge of Infamy


The Sky is Falling:

It's clear Del Rey is having a lot of fun describiing a world where magic rules based on the myths and superstitions of the present world. His hero is resurrected from the dead and put to the task of fixing a literally falling sky, one in which the stars are embedded and inside which the sun and planets rotate.

Written like a thriller with a cataclysmic deadline driving the story, the plot moves very fast and at times the 'magical language' can be a bit difficult if one is unfamiliar with 'resonance', 'property of likes' and such.

Short but fun and with the obligatory romantic sub-plot as well.


Badge of Infamy

The opening premise of this work is patently absurd. A future Earth has degenerated into guild-like "Lobbies" that control all activity throughout the world and nearby planets.

The Medical Lobby forbids anyone, especially doctors, from performing even life-saving interventions outside of their facilities. Doing so results in 'pariah' status and exile to Mars for the hero of the work.

Emergency treatment? On site remediation of potentially fatal wounds? Outlawed. Setting a broken bone suffered in the back woods while hiking? Grounds for exile and penury.

Clearly the poilcy of the Medical Lobby is 'If you can't get to one of our hospitals before dying, it's better you die than someone treat you where you were injured."

It beggars the imagination how the editor of this work allowed it to be published in this state.

All that said, it's an interesting medical detective story outside of the idiotic premise, which not only damages the work but is also utterly unnecessary to the plot.

By far one of Del Rey's weakest, most flawed efforts.