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Badge of Infamy by Lester Del Rey
Shifting between Earth and Mars, Badge of Infamy focuses on the gripping tale of a former doctor who becomes a pariah due to being temporarily governed by emotion and compassion, rather than complying with the highly regarded rules established by the Medical Lobby. Furthermore, the novel covers numerous topics including justice, brutality, betrayal, ethics, political control, and lobbying. Set in the year 2100, the novel begins with the introduction of its protagonist, Daniel Feldman, an ethical man, who makes the terrible mistake of going against the fixed medical protocol and performing surgery to save the life of a friend. As a result of his defiance and disregarding the Medical Lobby and their set of rules, Feldman is immediately dubbed an outcast and forbidden to practice medicine from that point onward. To make matters worse, he is ignored by his fellow associates and his wife also leaves him. Left to wander the streets, Feldman witnesses the death of a man working for the Space Lobby and decides to take the man’s ID card in order to get work on a ship headed for Mars. However, once aboard, he is quickly discovered and brutally beaten and left for dead until he is later rescued by a colonist. Moreover, Feldman positively responds to an invitation to work as a doctor in the villages, feeling he has little choice other than to accept the risky position and once again go against the preset rules of the government. Subsequently, he begins performing medical research, and incidentally discovers a deadly plague which poses a threat to the whole of humanity. Overwhelmed by the threatening knowledge, Feldman is hurled into a frantic attempt to find a cure, while simultaneously escape the grasp of those seeking to bring him to justice. An intense and powerful piece of science fiction, Badge of Infamy enthralls with its evocative plot, endearing protagonist, and cruel treatment of ethical conduct. The piece also has the ability to make one ponder over the ideas p...
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