Well, since I’ve taken the plunge in the 2018 Ultimate Reading Challenge I’ve decided to reread Mockingbird by Walter Tevis. It’s a science-fiction tale about an android who simply wants to die but he cannot due to his programming. The tale is set in the distant future where the world is slowly decaying and people are so “drugged” up that they can’t even see it.
The android named, Spofforth, is the central character. The two other characters that interact with Spofforth are Paul Bentley, a fellow who taught himself to read, and Mary Lou, a woman that sort of forms part of the triangle that our characters interact in.
The reason I read this book for school because it was on a list of books to read for our Science Fiction class in High School. This was back in 1981-2 and was an alternative English class and it was taught by Mr. Menzies who fuelled our imaginations with strange and wonderful science-fiction stories.
I basically picked the book simply because I dug the cover (and they say never judge a book by it’s cover). It was a new book by Tevis as well, written in 1980 and since I liked his The Man Who Fell To Earth I figured it was a surefire bet that it would be a very good read. I wasn’t disappointed. I won’t spoil it for anyone else who wants to give it a read.
I was drawn into this story right after the first passage and it hooked me good. Since I’m also a huge fan of post-apocalyptic fiction and a role playing game called Gamma World, I figured this book would also be good to mine for adventure seeds.
Even after 36 years this novel still holds up pretty well and I’m glad to give it another breath of life once again. It’s even more compelling now in this day and age and it’s making me feel like I’m back in high school again, waiting for Mr. Menzies to shout Pop Quiz and put our knowledge of sic-fi authors and their book titles once again.