Another guest review, again from my dad (who apparently grinds through books at a predaceous rate in his peaceful retirement). The point is, the guest review is supposed to give me a break while I get books I’m reading read. Now I’m interested in reading this myself. Perhaps I’ll read it and post my views…
All of the human race lives in a concrete silo sunk 150 stories into the ground of a ruined and desolate planet. The ruined land is swept by toxic winds and corrosive dust, nothing can live on the surface. The only part of the silo above the ground level is an airlock and a sensor array. The center of the silo has one large stairway, no elevators. Everything is transported up and down by porters and most people live and work on only a few floors. At the bottom are mechanical floors with generators, pumps, and repair shops. Above that are many floors of farms and floors of living space for the farmers. Part way up is IT with the computers and servers that control the environment of the whole silo and on the top are a couple floors of administrative offices and some wide screens showing the surface of the planet in all its desolation.
Criminals are put in a protective suit and sent out through the airlock to clean the lens of the sensors array. The corrosive atmosphere quickly burns through the seals on the suits and the person dies in full view of the sensors. A trip from the top to the bottom of the silo is rarely undertaken, and can take several days. Travel far from your home floor is not encouraged and as a result the floors are like small villages with very little travel or communication between them.
This book is the first science fiction I have read in several years. It is so well done on the spaceship earth theme that it gave me a severe case on claustrophobia. The book is composed of 5 long short stories around the central theme of life in the silo and a series of revelations of the true situation of the silo and the earth’s surface. These stories were originally self-published and took off by word of mouth. I understand that the story continues on in Parts 6, etc. but I haven’t had a chance to read any of the further chapters yet. The whole set of stories are tied together and published as the “Silo Saga”. I will be interested in finding out how the author can escape from the blind alley that the story has taken him so far.