Of Men And Monsters
by William Tenn
Review by Timons Esaias

Okay, so it took me a while to get around to this one, Copyright 1968, and my printing (with a suitably lurid Vallejo cover) is 1975. And okay, our William Tenn's concepts have been repeated by others so often that today's reader might not care for this novel as much as those who read it when it came out. But it's worth a review in this reader's opinion.

The novel begins with a grabber first line: "Mankind consisted of 128 people." From there it proceeds to describe a radically altered future in which the aliens have subjugated Earth and reduced us to minor actors on what was once our own planet.

The structure of this novel is brilliant SF exposition, with the reader's view of the world presented undergoing a transformation and expansion about every twenty pages. The deceptively unadorned prose style masks excellent literary elements. There is also considerable wry humor.

Tenn also created a rather rare hybrid, as this novel is both a standard SF action novel and a nifty social satire. There is a frontispiece quote from Gulliver on the cover, and Swift is one of the very few examples of such a hybrid that comes to mind. (Pennsylvania's James Morrow is another.)

Dig up a copy, read it, and pester the author for more new works.

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