Color me happy and more than a little surprised to be decorating this review with as many stars as I am because I went into this novel with pretty subdued expectations. What really grabbed me by the fruits about the story is the terrific sense of place the author establishes through random, but well chosen, details about life in this "future" New York. The author provides this well fleshed, intricate picture of the world without dropping major dumps of info that would clog up the natural flow of the story. This kind of high level development is unusual for this kind of short 60's science fiction novel.
Its New York City and the population has skyrocketed to 35 million. You wouldnt want to live in this version of New York City. This humble word is Harry Harrisons absolute favourite. Make Room!s two main characters begin with one sort of friend for him* and none for her. People have friends! *Our heros friend is nothing more than a SOCK PUPPET so that Harry Harrison can explain his ideas of how overpopulation killed the USA and will kill the whole human race unless we embrace birth control. Pretty bad in most of the general details but then he does say theres too many damn people and the developed world is soaking up all the planets resources.
Make Room!" by Harry Harrison (Original Review, 1980-08-19) Pournelle's virulently infectious optimism is severely misplaced.
If you're a fan of the 1970's film Soylent Green, well, Make Room, Make Room!
So mankind gobbled in a century all the worlds resources that had taken millions of years to store up, and no one on the top gave a damn or listened to all the voices that were trying to warn them, they just let us overproduce and overconsume until now the oil is gone, the topsoil depleted and washed away, the trees chopped down, the animals extinct, the earth poisoned, and all we have to show for this is seven billion people fighting over the scraps that are left, living a miserable existenceand still breeding without control. I dont know the answer to that, there are opposing views on whether overpopulation still poses a significant threat to all of humanity or, since population growth has stabilized in many countries, some demographic analysts are saying that it is no longer a serious matter. In the 60s overpopulation was perceived as a major threat and it is one of the dystopian tropes often used by sci-fi authors. Several overpopulation sci-fi novels have become classics of the genre, John Brunners Stand on Zanzibar, The Sheep Look Up by the same author, and Robert Silverbergs The World Inside spring to mind. However, for me, the one emblematic sci-fi book on this subject is Harry Harrisons Make Room! In this version of 1999, the global population is seven billion, food, water, electricity and living accommodations are scarce. In New York, where the novel is set, millions of people are living on the streets, public transportation is no longer in operation, and all basic necessities are strictly rationed. Andy is assigned to investigate a murder of an important businessman called Michael OBrien who is, in reality, a gangster with political connections. OBrien lives in a walled off luxury apartment with access to unlimited electricity and water supply, they even have air conditioning. This is where Andy meets Shirl Greene, OBriens girlfriend who was living with the murder victim and now has to move out. The first half of the book is so focused on the murder investigation that I did wonder how this is a novel about overpopulation, let alone a sci-fi novel. However, the dystopia is always there in the background, in the state of Andys apartment, the people lying on the street that he has to step over to get into his home, his roommate powering their refrigerator by hooking it to a bicycle and cycling like mad. False prophets said it was the year one thousand, but there are more people here in this single city than there were in the entire world at that time.
First thing, Forget about the movie Soylent Green which was based on Harry Harrison's novel about overpopulation, Make Room! Robinson in the movie and the best thing about the film) is most memorable with his ability to remember the past and his examination of where they went wrong.
Well, fortunately, our modern world is getting well-adjusted to living with less... and some technologies are letting us live with a bit less squalor than predicted in this novel... Of course, in some ways, the violence, the poverty, and the cultural clamp-downs are WORSE in our world. it's interesting because most of the world is a dustbowl and the only place to safely live ..
I'm glad to see you read your assignment.
Harry Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey) was an American science fiction author best known for his character the The Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room!