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Space Prison

Tom Godwin

Book Overview: 

AFTER TWO CENTURIES….The sound came swiftly nearer, rising in pitch and swelling in volume. Then it broke through the clouds, tall and black and beautifully deadly — the Gern battle cruiser, come to seek them out and destroy them. Humbolt dropped inside the stockade, exulting. For two hundred years his people had been waiting for the chance to fight the mighty Gern Empire … with bows and arrows against blasters and bombs!

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .They don't have any reason to kill us—they just hate us."

"They have a reason," Prentiss said. "They're doing the same thing we're doing: fighting for survival."

Lake's pale brows lifted in question.

"The prowlers are the rulers of Ragnarok," Prentiss said. "They fought their way up here, as men did on Earth, until they're master of every creature on their world. Even of the unicorns and swamp crawlers. But now we've come and they're intelligent enough to know that we're accustomed to being the dominant species, ourselves.

"There can't be two dominant species on the same p. 34 world—and they know it. Men or prowlers—in the end one is going to have to go down before the other."

"I suppose you're right," Lake said. He looked at the guards, a fourth of them already reduced to bows and arrows that they had not yet had time to learn how to use. "If we win the battle for supremacy it will be a long fight,. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Godwin will always be remembered for his classic "The Cold Equations," one of the darkest stories ever published in the field. In fact, I was unable to think of anything else he'd written when I stumbled across this slim volume. It's the story of a planetary colonization ship that's taken over by ev

I was very pleased with this short book. It is part of a series, but can be read alone as I'm going to do because the rest of the series isn't available in audiobook format.

First published in 1958. I can't even wrap my little mind around that. It seems crazy to think there were people writing sci-fi

Joyless sci-fi hack job.

Not that a story about a prison planet should be full of the joys of spring. Four thousand human 'Rejects' are captured by an enemy alien race and exiled on Ragnarok, a desolate planet of seasonal extremes with 1.5x the gravity of Earth, deadly predators and devastating desea

I read this because the recent novel Semiosis reminded me of it. The weird thing is that I don’t recall having read this. I must’ve just seen the synopsis at some point and remembered that.

The two books are remarkably similar: colonists are stranded on an inhospitable world not of their choosing, wh

The thing you need to know going into this is: It's a big story. I don't mean long; I mean big. If you expect to be presented with characters whose heads you can get into, whose individual stories you can get involved with, this book is likely to disappoint you. It isn't the story of a single charac

1958, I read this book as a teen sometime, and had remembered it for a life time. Then trying to search and find it on Amazon, here, many many places I could not find it. = Because I did not kn ow the title or author. At about 64 I told my sister-in-law the plot and most of the story line. Then the

Tom Godwin's "Space Prison" (originally named "The Survivors") was an enjoyable read, but far from a masterpiece. As said before by many others, it is almost impossible to come to like any of the characters. They show up for a chapter or two, then quickly die off, replaced by their descendants. I u

I really like this book. It is a good read and very entertaining. Some parts were very sad however, knowing that it was a means to an end helped. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the Sci-Fi genre. Though many children and animals die in the book so if that is not your cup of tea then

Amazon recommend this book to me, and I'm glad they did. I make a habit of skipping sci fi books published before 1990, but I've been on a colonizationg kick ever since I read "The Last Colony" by John Scalzi.

A bunch of colonists get dumped off on a fairly hostile planet with no technology, and have

Crushing gravity. Thin air. Winters of unimaginable cold Searing summers under two suns. A deadly wasteland teeming with monsters and killing fever. That was Ragnarok, the most dreaded planet yet discovered. And Ragnarok was where a thousand untrained Earthmen -- and women and children -- were bruta

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