Copyright 1961 by
I first read this in 1972 and most recently on the 20th February 2003.
In the near future, the nuclear holocaust will destroy civilisation,
spewing radioactive poison across the surface of the planet.
Remnants of humanity survived underground. Over the subsequent
generations, these few survivors adapted to the
absolute darkness, gaining much improved hearing. Some developed
the ability to see in the infrared, but these mutants, these
Zivvers were cast out to form their own small community far
from the remaining true humans.
But now all the subterranean enclaves are failing as their water
supplies run dry.
Worse, monsters have recently begun invading their realms, The monsters
have a strange, mind-shattering weapon that roars like a soundless
scream, swamping the senses.
These monsters are abducting men and women, for who
knows what nefarious purpose.
Our young hero, Jared, discovers to his shock that he is to be
married off to Della, a girl from the next enclave, to pave the
way for a union of the two peoples and a pooling of resources.
This is only the start of his problems. Within a
short time, he'll find himself rejected by his people and branded a
traitor, accused of supporting these monsters.
And all the while, the predations of the monsters are becoming more
serious and more bold, with people lost from all the enclaves.
I still enjoy this book. Even though there's no mystery about the
monsters and their strange weapons, there's still some excitement,
The underground existence is intriguing,
the horror of the situation concealed by the ridiculous
bureaucracy that Galouye humorously imposed upon these
benighted creatures. Yet Galouye creates a believable dark universe
illuminated by echo-casters and click-stones, where Jared, a thinking man in
search of truth, finds himself struggling hardest against it.
Loaded on the 28th February 2003.