Science fiction fans of today do not have to rely on pulp sources; the government has taken up their cause. Object of the political space race: a manned lunar landing at 20 billion dollars a throw. Results (says this exceedingly acute observer): mis-management of our national scientific resources and manpower; economic waste and woes; and a misguided orbit of international prestige. On top of all this -- and the man's theses are documented --NASA seems headed for minimal results and maximal cost. Statistics pile up without assessment; crash programs mount without long-term profit, scientific or political; and the space-oriented Ph.D puts a premium on fulfilling the nation's more pressing needs. A fallacy in the economic justification of the space program as a public works project reveals itself in the drain on professional science, while the unskilled unemployed remain unemployed. The author's arguments seem sound, if facts are to be given the credence due them in the computer age. He offers concrete suggestions for a remedy, the most important being: Slow Down. The moon is a worthy orb, but there's much more to be done on earth, says Mr. Etzioni. Without noticeable political bias, this book-length editorial makes good sense and is perhaps a good antidote for endemic lunar fever.