If all goes according to plan, this will be posted on the day of the 2015 Canadian Federal election. On my Livejournal, More Words, Deeper Hole, I asked for suggestions of SF novels about elections. I had already thought of two options: this book, and The Wanting of Levine. I received many good suggestions, but, in the end, two factors ruled in favour of Robert A. Heinlein’s 1956 Hugo Winner Double Star: I own it and it’s short. I didn’t have much time to acquire and read whichever book I chose.
It turns out at least part of the reason the 1970s-era1 Signet mass market edition is a scant 128 pages is because the font size is microdot. Not that it would have been much longer had it been printed in a reasonable font, as the allegednovel is really more of a novella. Still, it’s long enough to serve its purpose.
A seemingly chance meeting in a bar drops a job opportunity in Lawrence “The Great Lorenzo” Smythe’s lap. While the job, from the few details he gets, sounds like it should be beneath a master thespian like Smythe, it just so happens that his would-be employer, Dak Broadbent, speaks the language that speaks most loudly to a down-on-his-luck actor: money.
Smythe convinces himself he is being hired as a double for a politician who fears an assassination attempt. The prospect of being shot at does not please Smythe at all. Smythe is half-right — he is being hired to play prominent politician John Joseph Bonforte, leader of the Expansionist Party, currently the Opposition — but he is completely wrong about the reason behind the ruse.
Smythe has also grossly underestimated the stakes.
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