To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Status Civilisation Mindswap
|New from||Used from|
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
"The Status Civilization" is one of those maddening little
pieces which reaches out and grabs your attention with
the sheer _audacity_ of scope and ideas, only to fall
short when it comes to delivering substance. Part of the
problem is that it's a very short book; I read it in an
English paperback as part of a two-novels-in-one, a la Ace
The story starts with a familiar premise : Earth, having
become an enlightened techno-utopia, no longer executes
its criminals. Instead, such deviant elements are dumped
on the surface of a vaguely livable planet called
Omega. For good measure, the convicts' minds are wiped clean
of all past memories. Our protagonist is one of these convicts.
He's been sent up for murder. Problem is, he doesn't want to believe it. Problem with that is that the memories leaking out from "beneath the surface" seem to indicate that he is.
At the beginning, at least, he's got a few more important
things to worry about, like surviving. See, Omega doesn't have nice Earth values concerning the sanctity of life. Instead, a citizen's status is dependent upon how many people he can kill...but only according to the rules.
He narrowly escapes death, but only at the price of killing
in self-defense. This touches off a round of self-doubt, but, at the same time, catapults him into
Omegan society as the proprietor of a poisioners' shop. This gives him time to become acquainted with some of the more quaint Omegan customs, like mandatory substance addiction and the worship of Evil.Read more ›
Barrent is almost killed by a group of Hadjis but manages to outsmart them and this allows him to gain a "Free Man" status. Challenges are thrown at him that he keeps overcoming and slowly advances. He encounters an underground organiztion whose goal is to get back to Earth and reclaim their place there. Eventually Barrent will become the agent to execute their plan. When the reader finally learns what is going on back on Earth, it is not what you expect and like the Twilght Zone there is an ironic end to the tale.
The book that I read also included Sheckley's Notions:Unlimited collection of short stories. These are each excellent twist ending tales that would be perfect for episodes of The Twilight Zone. From a tale with a creature that is similar to The Blob, to a planet with dangerous winds, a world inhabited by a lone Earthman that other Earth people think he is lying about his heritage. My favorite of these tales is called Double Indemnity where a time traveler attempts a new scheme at insurance fraud.
Each tale is excellent and as good as any short science fiction tale being written today. If you can get your hands on a copy of this book, don't hesitate to get it! An extremely pleasant surprise that will not disappoint you!
The planet Omega is like a space-age Australia back when the British used that contintent to dump off their criminals and social malcontents. New arrivals are criminals joining fellow criminals who must now form their own society. But in this case, all have their memories erased before being stranded on Omega. They are given only one bit of self-knowledge: The crime they committed on Earth.
The hero is Will Barrent, convicted of murder -- a murder he no longer remembers, of course. The problem is, he has the nagging feeling he is innocent, and seems to only want to be good and do good. But now he must try to fit in with an entire planet consisting of and run by other criminals.
It's a terrific premise, and in the hands of one of the true masters of science fiction, this short novel becomes a marvelously entertaining read. Expect nothing but nonstop action, and little in the way of desciption of anything that does not move along the plot. For example, Sheckley wastes no time with describing scenary or filling out the details of the environment of an alien planet -- it's just bare bones movement of the protagonist doing this, and doing that, as he works his way through his terrible situation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
_____Sheckley's book is amazing. As in, it's amazing in the same way that Ian Fleming's Bond and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 have been amazing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Elliot Bowers
An amazing plot twist to end this engaging story line! A "must read" for those who delight in surprises.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a classic. Sheckley should be read more. He was a master of the short story (this is a novel but he wrote more shorts than novels) and very funny. Read morePublished 14 months ago by David Raffin
A very interesting, parallel-worlds, kind of read. Nice plot twist from prison/er control to something far more sinister. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jerry Massie
As timely now as it was when it was written, The Status Civilization reads like a fast paced action movie. Read morePublished 16 months ago by David S. Riley
Enjoyed reading the book, takes you on a journey that keeps you guessing and wondering where the story is going. Easy to follow and would make a great moviePublished 16 months ago by Kevin
An old favorite of mine; I'd like to write a screenplay for it, given its visual effects. Typically, Sheckley has satiric points to make about economics and human psychology. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Gary Lemco