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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Open Prison

Copyright 1965 by James White

In Association with Amazon.co.uk
SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this in 1967 and most recently on the 1st September 2005

This is A WWII great escape rewritten as SF for another world and another enemy. For twenty-three years the alien bugs have been depositing human POWs on this earth-like world. These prisoners were the cream of the human military, but time and isolation have taken their toll, and most have given up hope of escape and are busy making lives as farmers on this hospitable planet. Some still struggle on, laying plans and making preparations.

When the captured crew of the flagship Victorious are deposited upon the planet, all that is set to change. Now they are going to escape, in three years and counting. The plan will involve almost everybody on the planet, massive construction, disruption and destruction all planned and coordinated for the one chance they'll get.

This is an enjoyable read. It's got an intriguing plot twist and some surprising aspects. It is rather sexist, although modern for its day given that it was written prior to the womens' liberation movement of the '60s

Our protagonist, Warren, clearly knows women are undervalued, but hasn't quite worked out that they're not only good at soft skills. Apart from some of the idiocies resulting from that, this was an exciting book (for its day).

In the USA, this was published by Ace as "The Escape Orbit".

Loaded on the 15th July 2006.
Cover of Open Prison

Reviews of other works by James White:
Star Surgeon
Tomorrow Is Too Far
Double Contact