Discussion Forums - Science Fiction

Topic: Do you know of books that fit this?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Do you know of books that fit this?
Date Posted: 2/24/2011 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
Back To Top

I've been musing over different global statitistics, etc, and have come to the conclusion that I want to find a couple of books or short stories that discuss (either literally or through fiction) the results from having an excess of population, in particular relating people as a commodity (that can be affected by supply and demand with the end result being an excess of supply).  I know this is touched upon in several books (such discussion of welfare states as in some of Poul Anderson's books and Orson Scott Card's Shadow series), but the only books that I could think of that use it as the primary driving force were Asimov's robot series, and I was trying to find other books or series.

Subject: overpopulation
Date Posted: 2/24/2011 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
Back To Top

The classics are:

  • Make Room! Make Room!, by Harry Harrison
  • Stand on Zanzibar, by John Brunner

-Tom Hl.

Date Posted: 2/24/2011 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
Back To Top

 Another potential, this time from outside the SF/F community, is My Petition for More Space, by John Hersey. Though I don't remember how much info is given on the economy. . .

Date Posted: 2/25/2011 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,086
Back To Top

Make Room! Make Room! was made into a movie called Soylent Green in the 70s ... which is very dated now but is good for some laughs! If you enjoy Charlton Heston, you will enjoy it.

Date Posted: 2/26/2011 12:25 AM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2010
Posts: 577
Back To Top

Thank You all,

I'd forgotten about Make Room! Make Room!, almost afraid to go to the library and re-read it though (I loved the Deathworld Trilogy when I was the same age, but re-read it recently and found it to be flat and lacking in true content).  (Charlton Heston is fun though -- "Soylent Green is PEOPLE!!!")

I've have been looking for an excuse to get a John Brunner book, this seems like a good one, and I've read John Hersey's accounts of Hiroshima, they were really good, I'll have to check that out.

Last Edited on: 2/26/11 12:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/26/2011 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
Back To Top

There is a "sequel"  to Brave New World, the famous futuristic novel by Aldous Huxley.   It is entitled Brave New World Revisited, and it came out many years after the original BNW.   Its purpose was to show how the author's vision of an "engineered" society had come about in actuality.  One of the features of BNW was the way in which the State regulated human reproduction.

Date Posted: 2/26/2011 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
Back To Top
About a year or two ago I read Make Room! Make Room!, and watched Soylent Green together. They have some common characters and events, but are really quite different.
Date Posted: 2/28/2011 8:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
Back To Top

This may not be what you have in mind, but the first thing I thought of was Swift's A Modest Proposal.  It is satire, and not science fiction, but it is brief and available freely online, since it is long out of copyright, and certainly does have some ideas on human babies as a commodity.

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2011
Posts: 4
Back To Top

You could try The Great Bay: Chronicles of the Collapse by Dale Pendall. It's actually about the aftermath of world wide societal collapse, so it might be a slight frameshift from what you're looking for. It's a great book, though.  

Subject: City of Pearl
Date Posted: 3/8/2011 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
Back To Top

I highly recommend the Wess'har War series by Karen Travis beginning with City of Pearl.  It's a fictional look at perceived environmental problems on several worlds, different alien cultural viewpoints - culminating in the 6th book which takes place on earth.  One of the main characters comes in contact with a biological life-form that causes immortality - hence the connection to overpopulation

Wow.  That sounds rather dry.  But it's not - I had to wait patiently for each new book to get written/published.  It was well worth it.  Lucky be the person who gets to start this series fresh.   

Last Edited on: 3/8/11 1:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/1/2011 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
Posts: 51
Back To Top

I am drawing a blank on the title, but I am going to describe a book to see if anyone else can get the title:


The world is divided into 3 major political blocks: The countries with farmland (Food Block/Fatties), the coutries with petroleum (Fuel block/Greasers) and those with a high population, -- who uses their population as virtual slaves (Service Block).


For the life of me, I cannot remember anything else...

Date Posted: 9/7/2011 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 10/16/2008
Posts: 19
Back To Top

Caves of Steel deals with mega cities. The collected Elijah Baley/Daneel Olivaw robot novels deal with the pressure of humanity and overpopulation as excess people try to move into space.

Last Edited on: 9/7/11 8:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/9/2011 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 175
Back To Top

I'd also recommend Stand on Zanzibar by Brunner. Another of his that I really enjoyed in the dystopian genre is The Sheep Look Up. One of my favorites, actually. Probably means I need some sort of counseling...