Publication Date: July 14, 2010
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When Sam Moorcroft clambers out of the observation trench and walks into the Ely Project enclosure he knows that his life has changed forever. If he is caught the penalty will be chemical curtailment or worse.
Sam survives on his wits among the enclosure subjects. He works alongside them in their mills and farms, drinks with them in their pubs, celebrates with them in their festivals honouring their strange gods, and eventually falls in love with Smith, the tough young woman who takes him in and cares for him. No one guesses Sam’s secret, that he from the beyonds where the demon lives and where no one decent would dare to travel, even in their thoughts.
One day, however, Sam is snatched back to the world he came from, a world of horrors worse even than the demon, where the state thinks nothing of holding men and women in the subtle slavery of the enclosure for the sake of science and entertainment. Far from being punished, Sam is offered the opportunity to return to enclosure again and again in the service of the government. The offer, to join the elite company of Interlanders who walk in two worlds, is overwhelmingly tempting. Sam must decide quickly who he loves and who he is prepared to betray.
To live your life in terror of the demon is terrible, to become the demon is much, much worse…
A boy spies a girl's naked back. Sex is implied several times.Violence & Gore: Moderate
A forced abortion is referred to.Profanity: Moderate Some British cuss words are used. Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: Moderate One of the main characters drinks in a pub. In another instance, he uses a drug with a girl, to their detriment.
What kind of individuals are emotionally and mentally fit to walk in two worlds? And how does one set about discovering and recruiting such people?
Once the gun smoke of 1989 had cleared, these questions presented themselves to the Interland Security Service with considerable urgency. I quickly understood that my long association with Sebastian would not be enough to guarantee the Service’s constitutional position. As guardian of the new sophiocratic state, Seb had a wide range of interest groups to satisfy, and it was inevitable that the loyalty of old colleagues would be taken for granted and their interests overlooked. The Service, I realised, was on its own and, given the planned expansion of the enclosure, it needed to recruit in earnest if it was to maintain its position and privileges within the new government.
In my own mind I was clear from the start that potential recruits should be very bright indeed. Our work is so extremely delicate and so complex that it would be downright dangerous for us to carry any deadwood. But I also knew that simply being intelligent was not going to be enough. We needed young people with a degree of daring and native cunning—which isn’t quite the same thing as intelligence—as well as endurance and a certain quality of dreaminess or playfulness. I still find this last quality difficult to define, although I believe I know it when I see it.
More than this, however, I came to understand that we needed people who were, at some fundamental level, unhappy. I have written elsewhere that the experience of crossing the boundary is profoundly liberating, and so it is. But it is not only liberating. To slip between worlds day after day, to form relationships within the enclosure, to feel the full spectrum of human emotions within these relationships and yet to know that these feelings are at best only half real: experience has taught me that these things are simply not possible for people who are basically at peace with themselves.
We certainly weren’t looking for bores in the Service—we all still enjoyed our drink and our parties too much to want to be saddled with a lot of misery guts—but we didn’t really want ordinary, happy people, either.
Fortunately, a means of selecting suitable candidates quickly presented itself; in fact, it was staring us in the face. Unfortunately, I may not speak or write of it publically.
Dr. Hilary Lynch. Soul Freedom, Chapter 8
The sci-fi quality of the book relates to the new type of humanity that liberalism promotes: an artificial humanity fashioned by man, not God. Whereas the people that are isolated in the "state of nature" as some philosophers might say, possess the old God-given humanity. It is interesting to note that these people develop a type of religion which shares many elements with Christianity. In this way, the author states that the existence of a Christian-type God is self-evident to all of mankind.
The work is ambitious in the sense that it explores deep philosophical concepts, but at the same time, it doesn't spell these things out for the reader. Therefore, the readers has to do the math himself. So a person who is looking for a story that satisfies on a more basic level will be vastly disappointed in this, for all of its enjoyment relates to the thought-provoking themes that translate to our own lives. Lastly, the book may disappoint readers who are looking for explicit Catholicism as is typical of books in the Catholic fiction genre. Nevertheless, the book is totally original and thought-provoking, making it a worthy endeavor for the adventurous reader.