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Border, Breed Nor Birth   By: (1917-1983)

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Border, Breed Nor Birth by Mack Reynolds is a thought-provoking and gripping science fiction novel that explores a dystopian future where society is divided based on one's nationality. Reynolds masterfully crafts a world where heightened nationalism has resulted in the creation of autonomous regions for each ethnicity or country, effectively eliminating any kind of cross-cultural communication or cooperation.

The story revolves around a young protagonist, Holden Winters, who finds himself entangled in the complex dynamics of this deeply divided world. Born in the Anglo-American sector, Holden is thrust into an unexpected journey when he is deported to the Eurasian sector due to his mixed heritage. As he struggles to adapt to his new reality, Holden becomes a witness to the harsh realities faced by those relegated to different sectors solely based on their birthplace.

Reynolds paints a vivid picture of a society torn apart by fear, prejudice, and the craving for national identity. Through Holden's eyes, we are exposed to the stark disparities between the sectors, with each one perpetuating its own set of prejudices and biases. The author skillfully highlights the dangers of this divisive system, warning against the perils of nationalism taken to its extremes. By showcasing a world where nationalism has become a religion, Reynolds creates a cautionary tale that resonates deeply in today's increasingly polarized society.

The characters in Border, Breed Nor Birth are complex and multifaceted, each serving as a representation of different aspects of a divided society. Holden's internal struggle, as he grapples with his mixed heritage and questions the legitimacy of the borders that confine him, is captivating. His journey is paralleled by an equally intriguing cast of supporting characters, each with their own motivations and beliefs, who contribute to the narrative's depth and richness.

One of the strengths of Reynolds' writing lies in his ability to seamlessly blend social commentary with a thrilling plotline. While the book primarily focuses on the exploration of nationalism and its consequences, it doesn't lose sight of the need for a compelling and engaging story. The pacing is excellent, with the narrative consistently driving forward, leaving readers eager to discover the outcome of Holden's plight.

Border, Breed Nor Birth is a highly relevant work that provokes readers to question the arbitrary divisions that exist in our world. Mack Reynolds explores the destructive potential of extreme nationalism while reminding us of the importance of unity, understanding, and empathy. This novel serves as a stark reminder of the dangers that lie in allowing borders to define our identity, urging us to seek commonalities rather than dwelling on differences. Ultimately, it is a timely and compelling read that challenges readers to imagine a world beyond divisive boundaries.

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Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Analog Science Fact & Fiction July 1962. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

Border, Breed nor Birth

Part 1 of Two. Kipling said those things didn't count when two strong men stood face to face. But ... do they count when two strong ideologies stand face to face...?

by Mack Reynolds

Illustrated by Schoenherr


El Hassan, would be tyrant of all North Africa, was on the run.

His followers at this point numbered six, one of whom was a wisp of a twenty four year old girl. Arrayed against him and his dream, he knew, was the combined power of the world in the form of the Reunited Nations, and, in addition, such individual powers as the United States of the Americas, the Soviet Complex, Common Europe, the French Community, the British Commonwealth and the Arab Union, working both together and unilaterally.

Immediate survival depended upon getting into the Great Erg of the Sahara where even the greatest powers the world had ever developed would have their work cut out locating El Hassan and his people... Continue reading book >>

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