Date: 15 April, 1982 — Book
Fiction, Science Fiction
Well, that's interesting. Turns out this is the third in the series, not the second. Not that it matters much; the format of this series is such that you can pick it up at any spot.
This is the further adventures of the Circus In Space, the survivors of a spaceship crash on an inhospitable planet called Momus that nobody wants. Or, scratch that, nobody wanted.
Y'see, while Momus is, in and of itself, not that interesting a place, its location is of prime importance, lying as it does on the border between two space hegemonies. As a tactical advantage, it has some worth.
The problem lies with the more benevolent of the two. They would dearly love to step in and claim jurisdiction on Momus, thus preventing the other group from imposing military rule, but their laws prevent doing so unless asked. And Momus is a bit, shall we say, anarchic. They have exactly one law, which is the process for creating laws... and it requires that a quorum of sorts assembles at one location to vote on new laws. This is so much trouble, travel being what it is, that they've never bothered to make a second one.
And it's the job of Ambassador Allenby to not only bring them together to do so, but to get them to vote his way... which he can only do if he convinces the extremely unique culture that it won't be destroyed by the outsiders. Which is something he's not entirely sure of himself.
Wonderful train reading.