Man of Earth

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Man of Earth
Man of earth cover front.jpg
Cover of first edition (paperback)
Author Algis Budrys
Cover artist Richard M. Powers
Country United States
Language English
Genre Science fiction novel
Publisher Ballantine Books
Publication date
1958
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 144 pp
ISBN NA

Man of Earth is a science fiction novel by Algis Budrys, first published in 1958 by Ballantine Books.

Plot summary[edit]

In Man of Earth, Allen Sibley is a businessman who is about to be indicted for bribery of a public official. Desperate to escape prison, he pays a fortune to the mysterious Doncaster Corporation for a new identity (and a new body and personality to go with it). However, Doncaster tricks him, sending him as an unwilling emigrant to the extraterrestrial colony on planet Pluto. Although it has been terraformed into a pleasant enough abode, Pluto is thoroughly neglected by a narcissistic Earth, and only ne'er-do-wells and misfits settle it. Sibley, with no marketable skills, is drafted into the Plutonian army, which is building an anomalously large war machine. His new commanding persona makes him swiftly rise in rank, and he soon concludes that Pluto intends to invade and plunder its neglectful mother planet. Instead, Doncaster suddenly reveals that the Pluto colony was created by them as a stepping-stone to the stars, and that Earth will be left to go rancid, while "new men", like the rebuilt Sibley, conquer the universe.

Literary significance & criticism[edit]

Robert Silverberg, writing as "Calvin M. Knox," reviewed the novel soon after publication,[1] and it was also reviewed by Hans Stefan Santesson in June of the previous year.[2]

Galaxy reviewer Floyd C. Gale wrote that Budrys had "cut a complex tale from simple cloth."[3] Damon Knight, although praising the opening segment as "symbolically powerful, and beautifully managed," found that as the story progresses, it "first loses its special flavor, and then becomes a different story altogether."[4]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Knox, Calvin M. (May 1959). "Algis Budrys MAN OF EARTH (Ballantine)". Science Fiction Stories. 
  2. ^ Santesson, Hans Stefan (June 1958). "Man of Earth • Algis Budrys • (1958)". Fantastic Universe (King-Size Publications, Inc) 9 (6): p119. 
  3. ^ Gale, Floyd C. (1958-11). "Galaxy's 5 Star Shelf". Galaxy. pp. 74–77. Retrieved 14 June 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "In the Balance". If. December 1958, pp.112

References[edit]

  • Budrys, Algis (1958). Man of Earth (1st ed.). Ballantine Books. 

External links[edit]