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Cooper, Edmund
book-date: 1971
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Paul Lehr

Book= near-Fine
Dustjacket= VG+ to near-Fine

The Overman Culture (1972) - a novel by Edmund Cooper. Cooper was a British "midlist" author who produced over 2 dozen SF novels or collections - mostly in the Sixties and Seventies. I acquired a taste for his novels. [This one I haven't read, so I mixed the SFBC blurb and the jacket flap copy for a synopsis.]

Time seems to have run amok. London is governed by Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill, who travel through the city in a futuristic hovercar. Zeppelins and fighter planes from World War I and II clash above and outside the force field that protects London and its curiously detached and indifferent population. Michael Faraday was born in this city of anachronisms and although he has never known any other life, Michael is sure that something is intrinsically wrong with his world. His parents and teachers evade nearly every question he asks, and the older he gets, the more he becomes aware that there are 2 different types of human beings who inhabit the city. Michael calls people like himself "fragiles" because they bleed when cut and seem rather vulnerable to pain and injury. But all adults and the vast majority of the children are "drybones." They never bleed or become tired, and drybone children seem to grow in spurts overnight instead of gradually like fragiles. Michael and a few other young fragiles come to realize that they are the last of their kind - whatever that may be - and they secretly band together to learn the truth about themselves, their world and why the drybones seemed determined to keep them in ignorance. When they begin to understand the astonishing reasons for the nature of their world - the ultimate test begins.

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