David's Reviews > Space Prisoners, The Survivors

Space Prisoners, The Survivors by Tom Godwin
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's review
May 23, 2011

it was amazing

Space Prisoners is short. It's epic. It's a blast to read.

I grew up reading a fair amount of "Golden Age" science fiction. That stuff was perfectly tailored to a young male reader such as myself. But as much as it pains me to admit it, a lot of it was pulp trash that would bore me to tears now.

In a lot of ways, Space Prisoners resembles the other stuff from its era. The characters are two-dimensional. The story is classic "good guy" vs. "bad guy". There aren't any shades of grey. But just as many fantastic pieces of art are created with just black ink on white paper, Godwin managed to make a striking and powerful book with just one defining theme: the human will to survive.

I don't want you to get the impression this book was nothing but shoot-outs. There was tons of traditional action, yes. But the challenges faced by the survivors were far more varied and extreme than merely having to battle aliens and eat weird plants. Godwin created a world which was utterly hostile to human life in nearly every way. Faced with such odds and having experienced such loss, I couldn't help but keep my eyes glued to the pages until its conclusion. By volume, it's one of the most packed-with-awesome books ever written.

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