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The Status Civilization

The Status Civilization - Robert Sheckley The novel starts off with the protagonist, Will Barrent, arriving on the planet of Omega in complete confusion. He is part of a group of prisoners, and his memories have been completely wiped out. He knows that he has committed a crime but doesn't know what he did. He has been given a life sentence on the prison planet of Omega. The planet is a place of complete chaos where crime and disorder rule. Barrent does what he can to survive, meanwhile non-conforming with the rules of the planet, which make those in charge want him dead. In the process of going through numerous trials where his life is in jeopardy, he becomes part of an underground society in Omega, whose ultimate goal is to get back to Earth.
This was a well-conceived and well-written novel. The author does a good job of getting into the head of Barrent, allowing the reader to feel the same confusion that his character must feel under those circumstances. The choices he makes are logical ones. Although he has been convicted of a crime, it is quickly apparent that he was not guilty of his crime. The society and the rules associated with it on Omega were fascinating. There are some comical aspects of the novel as well as good social commentary. The writing was solid and it was not overly long as most science fiction novels are. This was a good novel that I would recommend.
Carl Alves - author of Blood Street