Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nowhere on Earth by Michael Elder

From the back cover--

The year is 2173. Populations on every continent are expanding at alarming rates. Childbirth is thought of as an epidemic or plague. Society appears to be in the early hours of doomsday. Crushed like sardines into towering communal apartments, people are controlled by the Thought Police, whose main weapons are the Mediums -- telepathic individuals who can recognize and pinpoint any rebellious thought which might tend to diminish the power of the State.

Seems this is actually the first in a series of books--

Barclay series
Nowhere On Earth 1972
The Perfumed Planet 1973
as Flight to Terror, U.S.A. 1973
Down to Earth 1973
The Seeds of Frenzy 1974
The Island of the Dead 1975

My Opinion

I really enjoyed this book. So much so that I am going to look for the others in this series. I guess one of the reasons that I enjoy good sci-fi is because it can be very thought provoking.

In this book we meet Roger Barclay, just one of millions of people who live in a future that is way too overpopulated. To the point where everyone's lives have to be regulated in shifts so that there is enough room for everyone. When his wife goes into labor he is thrilled about the idea of becoming a father, but when he is told that his wife has died and that his daughter is stillborn, a very rare occurrence in this future world, he is devastated. That is until he receives a videophone call from his supposedly dead wife. Barclay begins on a journey that makes him question his entire existence and that of his world. He rebels against a government that wants to control it's citizens with the use of Mediums, telepathic individuals who can detect any thoughts that are not in line with what is considered 'good' for the people. He is sent off to a work camp where he spends the next 5 years preparing for the opportunity to rescue his wife and daughter, who was born a telepath.

In his journey of rebellion Barclay comes to realize that his world is in trouble. A realization that makes everything he has known and believed seem insignificant. Where that discovery leads is the beginning of a great journey that I am looking forward to reading about in the other books of this series.

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