Eight Keys to Eden

Mark Clifton
Eight Keys to Eden Cover

Eight Keys to Eden


I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. It is a novel of ideas which was packed into what at first seemed to be a sitcom. There were many comedic approaches and situations, but when it came time for the denouement the ideas took over and I, for one, love SF ideas. This one even brought up my pet theory that mankind once was telepathic, but when he learned the lazy ways of using tools he lost that capability.

The story line is about a colony on another planet in the Ceti constellation, that suddenly missed their call in date. The reason why they did was another of the comedic situations. Suddenly everything they had built, their homes and even the fields they cleared were all reverted back to the pristine condition before they had appeared. The people had lost their clothing, their emergency spaceship, everything. They weren't even able to use any tools. No way to make a fire.

When Earth sends an E (Extrapolators, are a special branch of scientist that questions the validity of science.) out to investigate, him and his ship also fall prey to this force, and their ship instantly disappears, stranding them naked also on this planet. It is left up to this E to solve the mystery, as there was also a force field put around the planet that barred anyone else from landing.

I found the story at first a bit far-fetched, but eventually I warmed up to it, and when the true cause was being discussed, I fell in love with it. As I said this has long been my "pet" theory and this was the first time I've seen it in a novel.