Maria Lectrix: Morale by Murray Leinster

SFFaudio Online Audio

Maureen O’Brien has wrapped up her reading of Murray Leinster’s Morale, another Military Science Fiction story set in the same universe as Tanks (which Maureen read a few weeks ago). Sez Maureen:

We’re apparently still fighting the Japanese, too, though I still doubt that anybody Asian would be using the yellow imperial color for an ordinary flag. (Well, it’s not something most people would think about, and it worked as shorthand for his audience.) But really, the identity of the enemy doesn’t seem to have been all that important to either story, which is odd for the days of the “Yellow Peril” showing up tons in sf. (And really, that’s not fair. Japan was building up its military strength all during the early twentieth century, which was why military guys worried about it. It may have fed into racist fears, but Japanese militarism and expansionist imperialism was real.) As would become characteristic of Leinster, even when you meet the enemy face-to-face in “Tanks”, the enemy is made up of ordinary guys. Whatever causes the horrific nature of war, Leinster seems pretty clear that it’s not a matter of furriners being furrin. This makes his characters’ moral outrage at the events in Morale more effective, I think.

You’ll notice how much stronger this story is than Tanks. A year or two can make a big difference in a writer’s skills — or an editor’s, for that matter.

Another fascinating thing about old science fiction is the stark contrast between when people understood the uses of technology (and therefore thought its application was sure to be widespread in ten years), and when the technology actually became practical and widely adopted. Sometimes it just takes a while.

Astounding Stories December 1931Morale
By Murray Leinster; Read by Maureen O’Brien
6 MP3 Files – Approx. 82 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Maria Lectrix
Podcast: August – September 2009
While America fights a war on one coast, a new front is about to open — the homefront — as the enemy attacks civilian towns with a giant war-machine like no other. But the enemy war-machine is a target, too, and there are more ways to win than with guns… First published in the December 1931 issue of Astounding. This story is set ten years after the events of Tanks.
Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3| Part 3 |MP3| Part 4 |MP3| Part 5 |MP3| Part 6 & 7 |MP3|

Posted by Jesse Willis

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