ROBERT SILVERBERG “Hawksbill Station”. Novella. First appeared in Galaxy SF, August 1967. Reprinted in World’s Best Science Fiction: 1968, edited by Terry Carr & Donald A. Wollheim (Ace, paperback, 1967). First collected in The Reality Trip and Other Implausibilities (Ballantine, paperback, 1973). Expanded to the novel of the same title (Doubleday, hardcover, 1968). Nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards in 1968 for Best Novella of 1967.

   Governments of the 21st Century have found Hawksbill Station, located two billions years in Earth’s past, an excellent spot for deported political agitators. Jim Barrett, with greatest seniority, is the acknowledged king whose kingdom is going completely insane. A crisis seems to form with the new arrival of Lew Hahn, who is strangely different.

   The ending is a letdown from what goes before, is perhaps too simple in comparison with the masterful construction that precedes. It could be the background for a much longer story.

Rating: ****

— June 1968.