I’ve just finished reading this book. It’s one I’ve had for a little while as a part of Gollancz’s SF Masterworks set. Now, some of the SFM set are truly awful leaving me wondering how stodgy excuses for longwinded 70s sci-fi Jetsons style could ever be considered a masterwork. But others are truly outstanding.
I wouldn’t place “Downward to the Earth” into either category, but it is certainly an excellent well-written book which I found easy to read and it held my interest all the way through. It explores some interesting ideas (I’m deliberately being vague here so as not to blow any of the plot details) which are unusual and I haven’t seen explored before, and for that point it is innovative. The ending is a little bit of a let down, but for the rest of the book I forgave that. Overal I would rank it as certaily a 7½-8 out of 10.
I’m going to try and post intermittantly my brief thoughts on some of these books as I read them. A lot of them I’ve already read, so I shall post my thoughts on them too. There are some truly great books, but there are also some right lemons.