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The People of the Ruins (The Radium Age Science Fiction Series) Paperback – November 20, 2012

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Hodgkinson is still doing what he's always done, which is a mixture of editing magazines, writing articles, and putting on parties. He was born in 1968, founded The Idler in 1993, and now lives in Devon, England. He is also the author of The Freedom Manifesto.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Radium Age Science Fiction Series
  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: HiLoBooks (November 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781935869580
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935869580
  • ASIN: 1935869582
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.7 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,397,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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In the period before the golden age of science fiction, there were authors who wrote this kind of fiction. I'm an unsure that I would actually categorize it as science fiction but that is how it is marketed. A man in the early 1920's is accidently hit by a ray and finds himself about 150 years in the future.
The writing is clean and moves fast. Knowledge from his time has been lost making him valuable. The Bolshevic revolution colors some of Shanks' vision of the future. This book is mainly important to see what was being written before the golden age of science fiction. It is sometimes funny that Shanks did not envision any changes in more than the technology of the future. After all, suffragists were active and had been for more than 40 years.
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Format: Paperback
The HiLo Books/Radium Age edition is abridged from the 1920 edition, as noted after the copyright notice: "We have excised a few passages in order to arrive at a more manageable length." The original only runs a little over 300 pp, so I'm not sure why it would be unmanageable. Having said this, I think it is a worthwhile read, but probably better in an uncut Print On Demand version. Shanks is an intelligent observer and a good writer who seems to know what he is doing, although you might not like it much. This book, like most sci fi, is very much a reflection of the time in which it was written. In 1920, 2 years after the end of the horrors and destruction of WWI, Shanks is deeply pessimistic about the future of humanity and the nature of human beings. Like many sci fi writers, even contemporary ones (who shall remain nameless), he was bound by the social attitudes of his time, and he was not able to imagine a world where relations between the sexes have advanced.
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Format: Paperback
"General strike in 1924 marks the beginning of the collapse of civilization. 150 years later England is reduced to neolithical barbarism."

- Gerber, Utopian Fantasy, p. 147.

"The first of the many British postwar novels that foresee Britain returned to barbarism by the ravages of war."

- Anatomy of Wonder (1995) 2-107.

"One of the most widely read scientific romances of the post-war years."

- Stableford, Scientific Romance in Britain 1890-1950, p. 239.
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