Technos (Dumarest #07) – EC Tubb (1972)
‘Dumarest had traced the lost planet of Earth to a remote corner of the galaxy – but he still lacks its precise co-ordinates.
Somewhere on the cyber-dominated police-world of Technos lives the mysterious woman who can help him. And the only way to find her is to become a slave…’
Blurb from the 1977 Arrow paperback edition
Dumarest carries a dead man’s message to his brother on the planet Loame, an agricultural world, annexed by the Planet Technos and in the grip of invasion by a genetically engineered weed.
Hearing that Technos may have information on the whereabouts of Earth, Dumarest takes the place of a young man destined to be conscripted from Loame into the army of Technos.
The Cyclan are of course on Dumarest’s trail and he must once more use his intelligence and reflexes to stay one step ahead.
There is a direct contrast between the rural – almost Amish – society of Loame and the machine dependant society of Technos. The people of Loame are, on the whole, moral and law abiding and not prone to violence while Technos society appears to be venal and corrupt. Complicating this view is the ex-patriot of Loame, Ms Belinger, who does not miss the patriarchal rules of Loame where a woman exists only to bear children.
The Technosians also present an interesting view of Loame as being a pristine environment where the humans are perfect physical specimens, but from a society which has been invaded by the viral concept of war, a concept to which they have no social immunity and therefore did little to resist the invasion. It is an early and interesting example of social memes mentioned in an SF novel.