- Paperback: 299 pages
- Publisher: Baen; Reissue edition (October 1, 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671655930
- ISBN-13: 978-0671655938
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,133,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lacey and His Friends Paperback – October 1, 1986
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Top Customer Reviews
It was released straight to paperback in 1986 after Drake had found a hit in his Hammer's Slammers series of space mercenary novels/anthologies (1979, Hammer's Slammers; 1984, Cross the Stars; and 1985, At Any Price). Drake wasn't the first to capitalize on the space age diaspora mercenary idea (see H. Beam Piper's 1963 classic Space Viking or Piper contemporary Poul Anderson's Polesotechnic League series released between 1958 [The Man Who Counts] and 1978 [The Earth Book of Stormgate]), but he was the first to successfully inject the gritty realities of combat experience of the Vietnam War into modern science fiction. The chirpy and idealistic 1950s style of Robert Heinlein's military sci-fi had overstayed its welcome by 1980, so the reading public was more than ready for Drake's style of anti-hero.
Nation Without Walls is the first in the lineup and sets the background of the Lacey trilogy. The United States is a dystopian future of energy shortage-driven poverty and crime that is counterbalanced by near constant surveillance and recording of every individual. Vaguely similar to the Phillip K. Dick 1956 classic The Minority Report (and adapted by Spielberg on the big screen in 2002), obvious criminals are taken out by a "red team" dispatched by the omnipresent computers that are watching all.Read more ›
Lacey is a humorless, merciless "rehabilitated" rapist turned investigator who uses the all-seeing surveillance systems of the future to stalk his prey. Along the way he also gains some small measure of revenge against "Big Brother" for the mental emasculation that constituted his rehabilitation. It's too bad that none of Drake's other works come close to matching this level of intensity. Everything else I've read by Drake seems tepid and lame by comparison. Read it. Only 3 stars 'cause there are some really weak non-Lacey stories included to fluff up the word count.