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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews


Copyright 1980 by Harry Harrison

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (3/5)

I first read this on the 22nd August 2004.

Hundreds of years in the future in a rebuilt United Kingdom, Jan Kulozik is a top-flight computer engineer. His private life is one of luxury privilege, but in his work he struggles with the incompetence of the workers who use and abuse the products of his skills,

A chance boating accident brings him face to face with unexpected and unpalatable truths about his culture. He learns that the world is different from what he had been taught, that it is a lot harder and tougher, nastier and more cruel than he had ever imagined.

His world has fusion, an FTL drive and interstellar colonies, but it also has millions of people living short, painful lives in misery under a system as evil as any in history.

Once he knows the truth, he is dragged into support for the revolution. But he has very little time to spend on his new mission, and with Sara, the beautiful revolutionary, for the secret police are closing in on him.

Yes, well, put like that it sounds like a rather predictable thriller, and that is how it starts. However as the book progresses its harsher undertone comes more to the surface and the ending is something of a shock. Well, not some much of a shock if you've read "1984", as Harrison must have, but still enough to make me write this review immediately rather than leaving it for a couple of weeks as I normally would. The book is well and simply written and I positively want to read the remaining two books in this twenty-five year-old trilogy. As I am writing this I finally remember that Harry Harrison wrote the 1963 novella "Make Room! Make Room!" which became the dystopian movie <"http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/">"Soylent Green". I can't believe I forgot that!

I recommend reading or re-reading this book, along with Orwell's superb "1984". These books remain relevant to our world today. Particularly so in this current climate of the War against Terror, and with regard to various governments' forgetfulness about why the rights of all people, and not only their own citizens, must be respected.

Now I wrote this back in June 2004, and it's now March 2005 and believe me, things haven't got any better.

Loaded on the 14th August 2005.
Cover of Homeworld
Cover art by Peter Gudynas

Reviews of other works by Harry Harrison:
Deathworld 2
Invasion Earth

Reviews of other works with covers by Peter Gudynas:
The Shift
Virtual Death
Seeking The Mythical Future