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Slave Ship

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Slave Ship

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Author: Frederik Pohl
Publisher: Ballantine Books, 1957

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Book Type: Novel
Genre: Science-Fiction
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First they Cracked The Codes

The big electronic calculators that handled math codes, production lines, found it simple to decipher the small but racy vocabularies of the animals.

then man had achieved the age-old dream: He could respond when his dog struggled to tell him something, and he cold tell that foolish sheep that if he didn't act right he'd be mutton; and, being man, he could create the wildest, craziest secret weapon for the war that is man's heritage but not that of the new, now-articulate minorities.

The electronic brain machines have broken codes, translated one human language into another, and have now turned their memory banks to the problems of deciphering animal languages. The first practical application of this is to tell the sheep to eat the weeds in the potato patch, but to leave the potatoes alone. This, however, is only the beginning.

The nature of animals is that they are expendable. When a prolundged "cold" war has created a manpower shortage so acute that Boy Scouts are being drafted, the navy, characteristically resourceful, turns to other available materials. To an Annapolis graduate, veteran of several "cold" strikes himself, a serious-minded; man willing to do anything the nave expects of him, this presents problems in ethics only surmounted by the baffling confusion of the T.O. of hos command. for instance, how valuable could a seal be as a guided missile? Who's responsible when monkeys take over the running of a submarine?


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