- File Size: 404 KB
- Print Length: 151 pages
- Publisher: Prologue Books (April 1, 2012)
- Publication Date: April 1, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007S2UUKI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,622 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$5.99|
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The Status Civilization (Prologue Science Fiction) Kindle Edition
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|Kindle, April 1, 2012||
|$3.03 to buy|
|Length: 151 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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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!
Barrent and his cohort are then dumped into a society where evil is good and individuals advance in status by murder. Barrent advances quite successfully by his reflexes, intelligence and good fortune, rather than by any innate viciousness or sociopathy. He is helped at key times by a mysterious woman, who doesn't exist in the story as anything more than a plot device.
Eventually Barrent gets to the pinnacle of Omega society and discovers that its internal contradictions are about to rip it apart. He fortuitously falls in with the Omegan non-criminal underground and is smuggled back to Earth on a returning prison ship.
Because of the mindwipe, Omegans do not remember anything about Earth, although they have conjectures about a fierce police state ruled through informers. What Barrent finds, however, is a world of unthinking conformity. There is no police and there is no crime. There are no local or regional differences. As part of all the conformity, status is also key on Earth as everyone knows their place and keeps to it.
Barrent ultimately learns the secret of Earth: everything is maintained in proper order by deep psychological programming, which has resulted in stagnation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I won’t spoil it for you, but it is a terrific sci-fi novel, probably among the best ones in the genre. Read morePublished 4 months ago by svdolgop
The story was short entertaining for the most part, but insubstantial in it's depth. If it had been longer I would have lost interest.Published 4 months ago by Stacey Brewer
_____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 7 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 15 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 20 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 21 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 21 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 21 months ago by Kevin