Rogue in Space
Dust-jacket from the first edition
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|Publisher||E. P. Dutton|
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
Rogue in Space is a science fiction novel by Fredric Brown. It was first published in 1957. Brown expanded two earlier novelettes ("Gateway to Darkness", Super Science Stories, 1949; and "Gateway to Glory, Amazing Stories, 1950) to form the novel.
In the book a sentient and powerful asteroid arrives in the solar system's asteroid belt after countless aeons of wandering interstellar space. Passing by another asteroid, the living asteroid makes its first ever encounter with other living beings - a likeable criminal involved in a life-and-death struggle with a corrupt and power-mad judge.
The judge is eventually killed, but so too is his beautiful wife who had allied herself with the criminal, the couple falling in love. Whilst the god-like living asteroid builds a new world around itself, and blocks all mankind's efforts to investigate it, eventually the criminal returns to the planet with a small group. The sentient asteroid allows them to make planetfall, but only the criminal can accept living in the new Eden created for him, and they eventually depart. The alien then resurrects the late judge's wife.
Floyd C. Gale reviewed the novel unfavorably in Galaxy, saying that the story's logical flaws could have been forgiven "had Brown realized he was writing a funny story and treated it that way. He didn't." Anthony Boucher called Rogue "a thumping error in judgment," saying the decision to expand "one of [Brown's] least interesting stories to novel length" produced a work that had "lost what small virtues it once possessed, and become slow, ponderous, humorless [and] pretentious."
- Tuck, Donald H. (1974). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Chicago: Advent. p. 68. ISBN 0-911682-20-1.