Mazeway
#1
“Mazeway” was written by Jack Williamson
“Mazeway” is a Del Rey Book published by Ballantine Books in 1990

Summary:

“Mazeway” takes place in a time shortly after mankind built an elaborate network of cities in orbit around the Earth, cities tethered to the Earth by wires, only to have the whole skyweb come crashing down onto the Earth, thus destroying human civilization.

What had caused the skyweb to crash down onto the Earth was a giant space beast. The giant creature had flown into, entangling and severing, many of the super-strong wires that tethered the space cities to the Earth. The devastation that followed the collapse of the skyweb reduced those on the Earth, who survived the collapse, to a scavenger and hunter-gatherer way of life.

Not all hope is lost though; there is an advanced civilization, composed of several different races of intelligent beings that evolved out in the halo, and beyond, who call themselves the Eldren. The halo is the icy region of the outer solar system, out beyond Pluto, where the comets come from and icy dwarf planets reside.

Most of the people on Earth do not trust, and even hate, the beings of the Halo, blaming them for the destruction of their civilization. However, a select few humans live out in the halo as representatives of the human race. It is their goal to get help from the Eldren to restore civilization to those still struggling to survive on Earth. Unfortunately, the Eldren view humans as primitive and barbaric and put Earth strictly off-limits to all advanced races that might otherwise be able to help.

Benn Dain was born out in the halo after the fall of the skyweb. Benn was raised to understand the Eldren’s peaceful way of life, and educated in human history. Through his parent’s tales, Benn Dain grew to love the planet he had never been to and wanted to help the people of Earth by earning humanity’s right to enter into the Elderhood. Only then, he felt, did humanity have a chance to get out of their current barbaric state, recover and rebuild an advanced civilization on Earth, and learn the peaceful ways of the Eldren.

There is a possible way for Benn Dain to earn humanity’s place in the Elderhood, by playing the game of Blade and Stone at Mazeway. One major problem though, the game was not designed for humans and no one figured Benn Dain, or any human, had a chance of surviving the game, let alone win it.

My thoughts:

I bought “Mazeway,” new, back in the early to mid-1990s. I had found this book in a stack of bargain priced books at Waldenbooks in The Everett Mall. I remember this very well because I was surprised at getting a hardback for about the cost of a paperback, and it was even by one of my favorite authors. Even so, once I got home I put the book on a shelf and let it collect dust for about 15 or so years before I got around to reading it.

It took me a while to get into this book. It starts rather slow but it does pick up, as you get further along into the story. There is the usual assortment of protagonists and antagonists that get a bit more interesting as the story arc climes towards its peak.

Now that I have read “Mazeway” I know why it did not sell well. The action in this book is just a bit too slow for the average attention span. It is a good book though, if you can last through the very slow first half, or so.

I will sum it up this way, the cerebral types will enjoy this book far more than the average action adventure oriented person will.

MACJR
13 June 2010
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." Adam Savage of the MythBusters
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