This Crowded Earth

Cover image for


Author: Robert Bloch
Published: 1958
Language: English
Wordcount: 38,105 / 119 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 79.5
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 3,010
Added to site: 2008.06.14 21209

A frighteningly possible future world as seen through the strange and demonic imagination of Robert Bloch.

Show Excerpt

being hemmed in like this."

"Well, a bomb wouldn't help. You know that." Frazer pursed his lips. "Robertson figured out what would happen, with the chain-reaction."

* * * * *

Harry glanced sideways at his companion as the car started forward once again. "I've always wondered about that," he said. "Seriously, I mean. Is the story really true, or is it just some more of this government propaganda you fellows like to hand out?"

Frazer sighed. "It's true, all right. There was a scientist named Robertson, and he did come up with the thermo-nuc formula, way back in '75. Proved it, too. Use what he developed and the chain-reaction would never end. Scientists in other countries tested the theory and agreed; there was no collusion, it just worked out that way on a practical basis. Hasn't been a war since--what more proof do you want?"

"Well, couldn't they just use some of the old-fashioned hydrogen bombs?"

"Be sensible, man! Once a war started, no nation could resist the temp


Average Rating of 2.8 from 4 reviews: ***
Paulo Respighi

A novel that predicts huge populations living in megalopolises eating manufactured food. The main character goes crazy and wakes up in an idyllic sanitarium. But--
Some of the predictions are a bit off, but one of the characters was an old sci-fi writer who explains what would have happened in a story--then it doesn't, a nice touch.
Women exist as breeding stock.
I have to admit I liked the book more at the beginning than at the end.


"must have been written before terrorists ran amuck"

Well, yeah - 1958 is a bit of a giveaway.

And MAD did actually result in a lasting, if inordinately tense (for those of us who lived through it), peace.


In the future science has banished war and there's enough food to support everyone. As a result the world is intolerably overpopulated. Clearly a harsh solution is in the offing but unfortunately it's so improbable that it waters the story down a lot. Still worth a read though, the way the dissenters are represented by the media and the methods of public coercion may feel disturbingly familiar to the modern reader.


Too much exposition makes for awkward style of writing. Plus many of the assumptions are overly simplistic. Such as assured mutual destruction leads to lasting peace (must have been written before terrorists ran amuck) and people just go on multiplying. Dark and paranoic undertones make for an umpleasant read.

(Promote your book here)

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