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  The Slave and the Free

Walk to the End of the World

Finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for best first SF paperback of 1974: in a barbaric future of competetive hierarchy, drugged visions, and sexism pushed to its furthest extreme, a small group of travelers pursue a desperate quest.

  Buy This Volume, books I and II
"Nothing less than an astonishment. "

"An extraordinarily well visualized portrayal of small, hierarchical remnant of human society striving to survive in a post holocaust world . . . a fascinating debut."
The Daily Telegraph, London

"This is a literate, strongly written book... Its characters are three dimensional and real and its brooding plot will not easily be forgotten."

  "Not only an exciting book... but also a thoughtful one. Alldera, the daring fem who determines to escape to the Wild and link up with other runaways, arouses sympathy as well as admiration."

  "One of the best anti-utopia novels to appear in recent years. . . a dramatic extrapolation of the tension between today's generations."
  Future Retrospective

  Study guide: Walk to the End of the World is used in courses on reading and writing Science Fiction, Gender Studies, Utopian/Dystopian Fiction, Women's Studies, and Epic Literature.

An Excerpt from Walk to the End of the World — escaping from the wreckage:
Two young men hid in a storeroom discussing the future, while Captain Kelmz, secretly sworn to betray them both, looked grimly on.

"I don't understand," said Servan D Layo. "Knowing your name and where to find you, why didn't your father have you killed a long time ago, to safeguard his own life?"

Eykar Bek replied, "That's what I mean to ask him."

Incredulously, D Layo said, "You want to search out your enemy so you can have a polite conversation with him?"

Bek retorted, "I'm a man first and his son second. The proper approach of one rational being to another is through words, not mindless violence."

"Spare me!" pleaded D Layo, holding up his hand. "I should have guessed: finding him is just another grand test you've set yourself — "

"I'll never get to him alone," Bek continued, as if the other had not spoken. "I need your help, Servan."

Captain Kelmz felt as if he were dreaming this talk of matters never openly spoken of in the Holdfast. But Eykar Bek was real enough. Though young, his face seemed bleached by bitter struggle, even to the icy irises of his eyes. The pallor of his skin was spectral, set off by jet-black hair. Sharpened, etched in black and white, his was a fanatic's face, as befitted one bent on smashing Holdfast law.

D Layo's voice turned tender. "Suddenly, Eykar, it's you who are the tempter, and I the tempted." For him, Kelmz knew, the danger of the quest was its attraction. D Layo went on, "To find your father we would have to go south and try to pick up his trail at Bayo. It's years since he dropped out of sight — just about the time we got thrown out of school, wasn't it? And he'll have his guard up, once he hears that you're on his track."

"If that worries you," said Eykar Bek, "then time has changed you a great deal more than it's changed me."

"Eykar," D layo said, "it hasn't changed you at all." He allowed one beat of silence to mark their agreement. Then he pointed the hilt of his knife at Captain Kelmz. "Now, this old hulk, here, has made a lot of trouble for me lately. Any objections to my settling accounts with him before we start out?"

    Read more about the Holdfast series >>    
Electric Story e-version in preparation
Tor/Orb SF Classics Trade paper May 1999 ISBN: 0312869126  
Berkeley Paperback October 1978 ISBN: 0425042391  
Ballantine Paperback January 1974 ISBN: 0345237889