There's some reaction these days that holds scientists responsible for war. Take it one step further: What happens if "book-learnin'" is held responsible? A classic science fiction novelette by H. Beam Piper, first published in Astounding Science Fiction in 1953.
Public Domain (P)2014 Mark Nelson
Dr. Nils Rasmussen
I think Piper is, for the most part, actually a very talented writer. Unfortunately, this story didn't do it for me.
The initial premise for this short novel is actually totally original and really cool - a future world in which literacy has become taboo. The vast majority of the population, over many generations, have eventually become illiterate due to the fact that much of humanity's major conflicts and wars were blamed, at least in part, on books.
This creates a completely unique world as far as science fiction is concerned. The story actually had a lot of promise, which is why I bought it.
Overall, it was a big disappointment. It might have made a great short story but Piper chose to try and stretch his idea out as long as it would go. He milked it dry. The result ended up being almost painfully boring at times.
Unless you're a HUGE fan of H. Beam Piper, I would skip this one...
5.91 / 10.00
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