I must admit this story puzzles me. First, I should say, I just didn't like the story that much (which I had never read prior to reading it for your podcast, and have now read twice). I didn't hate it; it just didn't stand out for me much, unlike several dozen Wolfe stories I could name. I certainly don't see why it would end up in a Best of Gene Wolfe collection. So maybe I am just not sympathetic enough to read it. I liked your discussion a lot — the hinge between the 60s and 70s is of deep fascination to me, and I liked the idea that this story was prescient about it. That said, I found myself wondering how much of that was in the story, and how much we see in the story because we've lived the past few decades (the story takes place about halfway between the time it was written & now). The critiques of business methods and business culture are there, to be sure. But other things — the switch of the American economy from a manufacturing to a finance focus, the absorption of the counter-culture by commercial forces, etc — I don't see in there. (FWIW, I don't see it as cyberpunk, either. Sure, the corporate-controlled dystopia was part of that aesthetic. But I don't think the focus on the digital world was as marginal to it as you implied. Further, several other very crucial parts of the cyberpunk aesthetic — the idea that technology does not always operate as intended, that "the street finds its own uses for technology" (in William Gibson's famous phrase), the idea of the human changing (in ways rare in, say, Campbellian-SF), etc — are all missing. It doesn't feel like a cyberpunk story, to me.) The biggest question for me is the story's politics. If your reading is right, then it sounds like a very leftist story to me — worlds away from the right-wing politics we've seen in Operation Ares and "Paul's Treehouse" and many other stories. I think I read it, however, as more condemning of both sides, rather than making the corporations out to be the bad guys as opposed to the harries. I think the harries come across as awful — wasteful, unorganized, without any coherent ideology or plan or anything, just a mass of craziness. I think that Wolfe dislikes them as much as the corporate culture. In which case this story is of breakdown — much more in line with the earlier stories, at any rate. But I feel less sure here than about other works you've read. There are, of course, ways from conservative thought to an anti-corporate critique. But those ways of thinking were very much not part of conservative thought around 1972. Traditionally, there has been a strain in conservative thought which is suspicious of big corporations, but the mainstream of conservative thought from the mid-50s up until, well, Trump (and in a great many ways through Trump) has been what's called fusionism: the fusion of three strands: religious/social conservatism, anti-communism and free market thinking. Thus Milton Friedman, although he was one of those three, was very much part of & embraced by the conservative movement. So was Wolfe that suspicious of him? I don't know. But given Wolfe, I think another possibility is that we're simply reading the story wrong. I think that the bit with the three characters bursting into flame (or the women bursting into flame & the man exploding) may be key, and I don't think I'm persuaded by your reading that it is simply symbolic/religious/mystical. Wolfe does that sort of thing, of course, but I'm not seeing any sign of it here. And he usually writes his stories to make solid SF/engineering sense, too. In which case perhaps it's a bomb. Marc Aramini reads this as the idealists killing Peters just as he was on the verge, perhaps, of doing something idealistic, making things better: which fits with my more 'damn-both-sides' reading. I took "Hour of Trust" to be a reference to the bit in the middle of the story when Lewis, admitting that he is seeking credit, says "Credit, as you know, is a matter of confidence, of trust." So this is the hour of credit — of seeking credit, anyway. I think it might also relate to the various types of trust of the harries — faith in human potential, faith in God — although that is a type of trust that reads to me as rather bitterly satirical. (Wolfe does not hesitate to satirize Christianity when it suits his stories, of course.) All this is rather unsatisfying, I know, but I don't know what else to do with this story, save that there is something that we're missing. And that unlike most other Wolfe stories, I'm not quite motivated to reread until I figure it out.