The Reefs of Space

By Frederik Pohl

Rating: 3 stars

The solar system is ruled by the tyrannical Plan of Man under the Machine, where every human has their place, and if they don’t perform as required, they’re sent to the Body Bank so that they can serve the Plan in another way. Dr Steve Ryeland is a Risk to the Plan, but the Machine needs him to work out the mathematics of a reactionless propulsion drive that will take the Plan out to the mythical Reefs of Space, where the tiny Fusorian lifeforms have created vast habitable areas beyond the orbit of Pluto.

This was a reasonably entertaining space opera in a rather unpleasant dystopian future but with a hopeful ending. The Plan or something like it has appeared in a lot of SF as a solution to a very large population and finite resources. Here, the Reefs are used as a frontier that could potentially act as a release valve for a population that has no more frontiers.

Book details

Publisher: Ballantine Books
Year of publication: 1963

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