Jem the Making of a Utopia

the making of a utopia

Hardcover, 288 pages

English language

Published Jan. 3, 1979 by Trafalgar Square.

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5 stars (4 reviews)

The discovery of another habitable world might spell salvation to the three (Food Bloc, Fuel Bloc & People Bloc) bitterly competing power blocs of the war torn & resource-starved 21st century. But when their representatives arrive on Jem, with its three intelligent species, they discover instead the perfect situation into which to export their rivalries. Subtitled, with savage irony, 'The Making of a Utopia', Jem is one of Frederik Pohl's most powerful novels.

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4 stars

Jem was written in 1980. In context, the 1980s were the later stages of the cold war, which saw the two dominant super-powers: America and the Soviet Union square off against each other in covert operations and subterfuge. The Soviet war in Afghanistan happened in 1979, and the People's Republic of China was starting to make themselves known on the world stage.

On the back of this, Pohl wrote Jem, a future novel where the world has consolidated into three political blocs: Food, Fuel and People. Each block is rich in one resource, but poor in others. Earth politics are a delicate game of co-operation without benevolence between the blocs, made by shadowy individuals with games of cloak and dagger.

The novel opens with a scientist's desire to travel to another world. Not unsual, and at this point, space travel is a relatively common occurrence. But their target is a …

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  • Fiction in English.