Monday, April 4, 2011

Monument by Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

From Goodreads:

Lost Eden
It was a world of dazzling but deadly beauty, where pleasure was man's most precious birthright. In this lost colony the inhabitants had forgotten the very existence of earth. Only one man remembered. He foresaw the awesome consequences if this paradise were ever rediscovered.


The novel of a frightening future - a planet in mortal combat with an alien universe.

Cerne Obrien was not a well educated man.  He was a spacer.  When his ship crashes on an undeveloped paradise planet he discovers that he was not the first human to land there.  Another ship set up a colony in the past.  He helps the natives make their world a better place to live.  As he gets older, he starts to realize that he might not survive until humanity finds this paradise.  Cerne does not want this paradise to be destroyed by the tourists so he develops "the Plan".

In many ways this novel reads like a collaboration between Isaac Asimov and Clifford Simak.  Anytime I read about something called "the Plan" I can not help but think of "The Seldon Plan" from Asimov's Foundation books.  The tone of the book and the main character show more of a Simak influence.  Simak used a relaxed pacing in his novel "Way Station" among others.  This story is similar in style and pacing to the low key Simak approach.  Cerne is a typical Simak protagonist.  He might not be the most intelligent person in the story but he is smarter than he appears.  "The Plan" he sets in motion is deceptively cunning. 

Lloyd Biggle, Jr. is an author who has disappeared from mainstream science fiction discussions.  When I read a book like this, it reminds me that I have to do my part to help show fans what a great writer he was.


adamosf said...

I have read hardly any Lloyd Biggle fiction, only an occasional short story. This novel and his "Cultural Survey" novels are on my wish list which, unfortunately, has grown too large to be manageable anymore.

Chimeradave said...

I was reminded much more of Douglas Adams while reading Monument. Biggle's humor is much much subtler though.