|"The Ideal Captain' (18000 words.)
The pre-takeoff instrument checks were complete, from the control-room
speaker the two-minute warning had sounded its raucous, faintly
derisive note, and there was nothing now to do but lie listening
to the small busy sounds from the ship's automatic machinery.
What starts as yet another journey into outer space becomes a
Ballardian exploration of 'inner space' (with added common sense).
Lt. Commander George Adrian Surgenor, R. (S.)N. -- Royal
(Space) Navy, no less -- acts as Radioman/Medical Officer aboard
her Majesty's Space Vessel Mizar. He is, however, outraned
only by the Ideal Captain -- and, believe you me, the clue really
does lie in the title. This story should have been called
The Ideal Captains . . . but I've said too much already.
Synopsis by Graham Andrews