In the far future, the interstellar law enforcement body is thinly spread and has to use more subtle methods than simply sending in a battleship. Here are two tales of the specialist corps which work undercover, sending in a single man with some very specialised help — the men of the Porcine Interstellar Guard, and the Robot Obtrusion Battalion Omega Three.
This pair of novelettes were written for children, but are equally entertaining for adults. Each story is a nicely constructed sf mystery, with both genres well integrated. In the first, a pig farmer arrives on a frontier planet with a ghost problem. But the pig farmer isn’t a farmer, and his herd includes a collection of very bright mutant pigs with a talent for trouble. In the second, one travelling salesman shouldn’t seem much of a threat to a cattle-ranching planet, but the locals are sufficiently paranoid to think otherwise. But not quite paranoid enough to notice just how many robots of all shapes and sizes will fit into that battered old spaceship… Deftly sketched characters, a pair of interesting plots, and often very funny, this is a cheerful short read.