Archive for the ‘Jack Chalker’ Category
Midnight at the Well of Souls, by Jack Chalker
published in 1977
where I got it: husband’s collection
why I read it: cuz it’s damn fun!
The far flung future of humanity isn’t a pretty place. Having colonized over 500 planets, many governments have turned to utopian totalitarianism, extreme forms of socialism, cloning, and forced equality through genetic engineering. Nathan Brazil isn’t the only freighter pilot who’d rather live alone on his ship than ever settle on one of those hellholes, where everyone is exactly the same. Wonderfully antisocial, Nathan happily goes decades without speaking to another human. Old enough to remember the good old days before the stagnation of humanity, these days it’s just freight, freight, more freight, and the occasional passenger run.
While ferrying a few passengers, he makes an unplanned detour, and hears a distress call from the non-inhabited planet of Dalgonia. One of the original planets of the Markovian race, Dalgonia is nothing but ruins these days, a favorite dig spot for archaeologists. The Markovians, an ancient race, possible the first race to populate our universe, left no writings behind, no artwork, nothing to identify what they might have looked like. The planets they colonized spanned the universe and all had massive, planet-wide computers living just under the surface. Nathan and his passengers investigate the impossible distress signal, only to fall through a gateway that shouldn’t exist.
No one will be reaching their destination. except for Nathan, who might just finally be at the right place.
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