Christmas Eve by C. M. Kornbluth
London : Michael Joseph, 1956. First UK edition. Hardcover. 206 pages ; 19 cm. 10s/6d dust jacket. A few small tears around the dust jacket edges. Bow to cover board. Light foxing to the front and rear endpaper. No markings within the pages. Binding is firm.
MR. Kornbluth never repeats an effect. In his recent collection of short stories, The Mindworm, he was now fantastic, now violent, now ironic. 'Angry energy' was the word. His new novel, Christmas Eve, has done with all these moods. His plots are always exciting; but the new tale has a gravity and also a fidelity to the observed life of our time, new and remarkable in a Tomorrow Story.
Mr. Kornbluth has no illusions about what has happened in our own century to countries overrun by an enemy. it is also clear that he thinks the public realization is incomplete; so he retells the story, setting it in the future, asking us to imagine that Russia and China have not only conquered the Old World but are in the process of assimilating the New. The picture he gives us is as convincing as it is shocking.
There are no supermen in this story; but through one frightened man, forced into heroism against his will, the American 'Underground' triumphs and the tyranny is ended. This one man's adventures are as exciting as anything that has come out of Sc.F., and his final decision, once his goal is reached, is as startling as it is moving.
In fact the author thinks that there is a solution, a very old one, for the problems of our day; and in this story of the day after he indicates it impressively.
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