Life in a space frontier in Tom Godwin's Cold EquationsThe story contrasts life on earth with life on space frontier. In what important ways are those settings different? Do you find Godwin's...

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In the story, the protagonist, Barton, is confronted with a stowaway on his spaceship.The law stated that Barton must kill the stowaway.

Barton was a man "inured to the sight of death and to viewing the dying of another man with an objective lack of emotion." He knew the rules and followed them because not to follow them could mean his own death at the hands of nature and "its cold equations." Obviously, this is different from the way we see ourselves on earth. We hope to have compassion and be able to use our own judgment when punishing those who break the law. But for Barton, the law was inviolate, "There could be no appeal."

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