Conspiracy to use large numbers of big air compressors to compress and store all the earth's atmosphere. Conspirators are humans, fairly near future. Serialized in Analog SF/SF, probably late 1960s. Author, title if anyone knows - thanks. Read the second installment when it was published. Would like to read all of it.

  • Reminds me of Burnie Bevill's "Restoring the Moon", but that's 1920s and it's anti-gravity to steal the atmosphere. – FuzzyBoots Jan 18 '17 at 16:51
  • They were talking about this concept on worldbuilders a few months ago, but the only existing title that came up was The Air Seller, another from the '20s. – Seeds Jan 18 '17 at 19:24
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    I remember that story. Probably very late 60's, early 70's. The cover project was a subway system in the US and the air was being compressed and stored in giant tanks at nearly degenerate matter densities. The subway was also where some of the population was going to stay while there was no air. The program starts to run out of money and one of the main characters make the Mafia pay to be included in the group to be saved. I will try to find it. – zeta-band Jan 18 '17 at 19:26
  • It might be Earth, Air, Fire and Water by Stephen Nemeth and William Walling – zeta-band Jan 18 '17 at 19:54

This is Earth, Air, Fire and Water by Stephen Nemeth and William Walling. It was done as a three part serial in the February, March and April 1974 issues of Analog.

I found a link to a scanned first couple of pages and the main character is named Volpone, which I remembered.

Alex Volpone sighed. “Leonard, Leonard, there are no sure things in this’precarious world. It has to be an excellent bet, a clean, tremendously efficient innovation in mass transit, tucked neatly out of sight subsurface, providing aircraft speeds, near-foolproof safety, and gravity compensated acceleration-deceleration passenger comfort.
“You’ve watched the model work, listened to Dr. Seymour’s pitch on the compressor equipment
we’re to build. Can you ask more than CompAir’s chance to participate in such a gigantic enterprise?”
“If the horse is allowed to run,” maintained Colo doggedly. “And if young Seymour’s blue sky approach proves feasible in this, the real world.”

  • @Valorum Thanks for adding the snippet that mentions the compressors! – zeta-band Jan 18 '17 at 20:42

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