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Gurglings of a Putrid Stream

Thoughts on books and other assorted topics.

See also:  http://goppf.wikidot.com/swstart

My name:  Brian Martin

Syn by Raymond F. Jones

Syn (Belmont Science Fiction, B60-1018) - Raymond F. Jones

After two years on a space colony computer engineer Arthur Zoran returns to Earth, where humans are at war with Syns. Syns, he is told, are artificial human lookalikes, bent on taking over the planet. Arthur knows something is not right, and since his fiancée has gone missing after being branded a Syn, he is determined to find out what it is.

The second book from 1969 I've read recently (the first was "The Shadow People" by Margaret St. Clair). Both are socially-conscious, giddily pell-mell plot-driven stories that make more recent novels look positively plodding by comparison.

Here, the ending is dated and unsatisfying, yet not wholly unexpected, but the whole thing reads so fast that this is merely regrettable, not fatal.

The fun part is everything before that, following Arthur, a hardboiled scientist (he's not back on Earth for more than a few hours before he's already killed a couple of people), through a nightmare, post-nuclear Earth where no one trusts anyone else and murder and execution are a part of daily life. It's not logical, of course, but like a dark Indiana Jones, it's an enjoyable ride.