Revolt on Alpha C

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Revolt on Alpha C
Revolt on Alpha C.jpg
First edition
Author Robert Silverberg
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult science fiction novel
Publisher Thomas Y. Crowell Co.
Publication date
1955
Media type Print (hardcover; later paperback)
Pages 148 pp (first edition)
ISBN NA
OCLC 1211870
LC Class PZ7.S5858 Re[1]

Revolt on Alpha C is a juvenile science fiction novel written by Robert Silverberg and published by Crowell in 1955. It was Silverberg's first published book.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

The story takes place in the year 2363. The protagonist is Cadet Larry Stark, a 20-year-old, fresh graduate of the Space Patrol Academy who comes from a long line of Space Patrol commanders. As the story begins, he is embarking on the customary final training cruise on the interstellar ship Carden. At the end of this cruise, he will be awarded a commission as officer of the Space Patrol. The ship makes the four and a half light-year journey to the star Alpha Centauri in a span of 15 days using the faster-than-light overdrive. The fourth planet orbiting Alpha C, an earth-like planet inhabited by dinosaurs, has been colonized 125 years earlier.

Cadet Stark, who has been taught to obey orders and to trust the infallibility of Earth and the Space Patrol, arrives at planet IV of Alpha C just as the colonists are voting to declare, and possibly fight for, their independence from Earth. The arrival of the Carden and its crew can potentially affect the course of events in this revolution. The young cadet, for the first time in his life, must choose the proper and honorable course of action in a situation where there is no clear right and wrong. The consequences of his actions may place in jeopardy his career with the Space Patrol and the love of his father.

The story is apparently a metaphor for the American Revolution, with Earth representing England and Alpha Centauri representing the US. Ultimately Cadet Stark sides with the Alpha C colonists, but he feels confident that his father would be proud that he had been true to himself.

Trivia[edit]

Distinctive things to note about the 1955 novel include: 1) The overdrive is based on the principle of warping space; 2) The phrase "electronic guitar" is used for electric guitar and "wristchron" is used for wrist watch; and 3) the ship radio uses vacuum tube technology.

Also the character named Harl Ellison was named after science fiction writer Harlan Ellison, who was a neighbor of Silverberg in New York at the time he was writing the book. This was confirmed in a special edition on the occasion of Silverberg's 35th year in the business.[3]

Reception[edit]

Galaxy reviewer Floyd C. Gale praised the novel as "a fast-moving story . . . that I would have liked when I was a youngster."[4]

Kirkus Reviews also called it "fast moving science fiction ...".[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Revolt on Alpha C". Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  2. ^ Robert Silverberg at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-03-26. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  3. ^ "Revolt on Alpha C by Robert Silverberg". Majipoor.com: The Works of Robert Silverberg. Jon Davis.
  4. ^ "Galaxy's 5 Star Shelf", Galaxy Science Fiction, May 1955, p. 103.
  5. ^ "REVOLT ON ALPHA C by Robert Silverberg". Kirkus Reviews. August 1, 1955. Retrieved 2013-08-15.