Review: A Place Beyond Man and The Webs of Varok – the first two books in Cary Neeper’s Archives of Varok series

When Cary Neeper first published excerpts of her novel The Webs of Varok on, one commenter dismissed the work as being “merely a polemic pretending to be a novel.” Only the first charge is correct. The book clearly is an impassioned polemic against the extravagance and destructiveness of industrial society, but it’s hardly “pretending to be a novel.” Rather, it is an involving, well-plotted story that does justice to both the hard science underpinning its interplanetary settings and the long evolutionary perspectives typical of the old scientific romances (those of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and Arthur C. Clarke). Further, Neeper is in good company in her use of polemic, as Resilience editor Bart Anderson pointed out in his reply to the first commenter’s post. Anderson observed that George Orwell, Sinclair Lewis, Aldous Huxley and many other great authors have used polemic to poignant and lasting effect.

Excerpts from the Webs of Varok (New sci-fi book about a steady-state economy)

Author Cary Neeper has written a science fiction novel which explores the idea of how a steady-state economy might work in practice. She has compiled a few excerpts from the book  into a post for  which highlight some of the issues that are involved in maintaining such a society. The second novel in the Archives of Varok series, this young-adult/adult science fiction title travels with Tandra’s family as they leave a stressed twenty-first century Earth for the ancient sustainable culture of Varok, a veiled moon of Jupiter. But a genius with a hidden talent has set her eye on Varok’s wealth—and Tandra’s soul mate. Tandra, Conn and Orram must find new solutions to secure a stable future for their home and family.