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Monday, May 12, 2014

This Crowded Earth - By Robert Bloch - Review

This morning I finished "This Crowded Earth" by Robert Bloch.

For a story written in 1958 it has a lot of commentary that is valuable today.

It does, however, fall into a deadly trap of making firm predictions which went wildly off base.

It predicted that 6 billion people would lead to space quotas and limitations on transport that made 15 miles per hour in a private vehicle seem immensely fast and a luxury.

It predicted contraception through oral means about 50 years later than it actually happened which is incredibly ironic as it was already in clinical trials as Bloch was writing this book and became available as a contraceptive two years later.

If one ignores these nit-picky details one can view this work for the social commentary that it truly is. In this regard this work is a masterwork. It touches on nearly every aspect of social structure that makes civilization a complicated mess -
Birth control, over-population, eugenics, overt genetic manipulation, human testing, mistreatment of prisoners, transportation, housing, etc etc etc... Pretty much all of the topics that are worth discussing make an appearance in one form or another in this book.

Despite the minor aspects that are problems this work should be read by any distopia fan or science fiction fans in general.

It's an important work in shaping the core foundation of science fiction upon which many other authors placed their works.

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