Sea Of Glass
Copyright 1987 by
I first read this in 1988 and most recently in 1999.
A few years from now the world is in a pretty bad way. There's a cold
war again but this time it's known that it will become hot, and it's
even known when the war is likely to start. The cold war is between the
haves and the have-nots of the world of the 21st Century.
On the one side, the haves, the Compact Of Nations should be the height
of civilisation. However, population, political and economic pressures
have led to a bitter and sad, fascist society. Parents of unlawful
children are executed and the children interned in prison camps.
Meanwhile the world moves inexorably toward war. A massive computer
guides the government to ensure, above all else, victory for the Compact
Of Nations and death to the people of the other half of the world.
Tommy is an illegal child and life for him is one of hiding in a secret
room at home, never to be allowed outside. If caught, his parents will
be killed and he will face the horror and brutality of the
government concentration camps. In the end, he's faced with a profound
moral dilemma and the consequences of his decision will affect the fate
of the world.
This is one of the most powerful novels I have ever read. It's serious,
tough, inspiring and exciting. Longyear's writing immediately
draws you into this profoundly depressing world. The characters, even
those met only briefly, leave their mark upon you. If you've read the
book, you know the names: Ann, Helen, Louisa, Godfrey, Manual, Citizan
Sayther and Aubry Cummings. The pace increases and the pressure builds
as the Optimum War Probability Projection Date - the Wardate - approaches.
It blew me away in 1988 and it's just blown me away again eleven years
later. I'll be reading it again, especially as the Wardate approaches.
Loaded on the 5th June 2001.