My life in outer space

The Survivors – Tom Godwin (1960)

The Survivors (Ragnarok, #1)

The humans and the nazi-analogue alien Gerns are at war, ideologically opposed and both striving to control one strategic planet that would alter the course of the war. A colony ship en route to this world is intercepted by the Gerns. Those the Gerns can make use of are taken away while the remainder are promised to be left on a habitable world until they can be picked up and returned to earth.
The Gerns however, abandon the humans on Ragnarok, an inhospitable high-G ore-poor hell of a planet, whose savage weather is matched by the ferocious semi-intelligent indigenes, the pantherlike prowlers and the horned Unicorns.
This is a Verne-esque novel, telling the story of how the humans survived and adapted over generations whilst holding the dream of escaping from Ragnarok and wreaking their revenge. Like Verne’s castaways in ‘Mysterious Island’ the survivors manage to construct the rudiments of civilisation from limited materials.
See also ‘Dune’ and Harrison’s ‘Deathworld‘ in relation to human adaptation to hostile environments


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