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The Eel   By:

The Eel by Miriam Allen DeFord

The Eel by Miriam Allen DeFord is a captivating and thought-provoking science fiction novel that seamlessly blends elements of mystery, adventure, and social commentary. Set in a dystopian future where Earth has become an overpopulated and polluted world, this gripping story takes readers on a thrilling journey filled with twists and turns.

The novel follows the lives of its two main characters, Anna and Max, who find themselves entangled in a web of conspiracy and danger. Anna, a strong-willed and resourceful journalist, stumbles upon a sinister plot while investigating the disappearance of prominent scientists. Max, a young and idealistic biologist, becomes her unlikely ally as they embark on a mission to uncover the truth behind the enigma of "the Eel" – a mysterious and elusive figure pulling the strings behind the scenes.

DeFord masterfully creates a vivid and bleak portrait of a society on the brink of collapse, skillfully weaving her narrative with vivid descriptions of the crumbling world and the desperate struggle for survival. The author's attention to detail, coupled with her ability to create complex and relatable characters, breathes life into this dystopian setting, making it all too believable.

The novel delves into poignant themes such as overpopulation, environmental degradation, and the morality of scientific advancements. DeFord raises important questions about the consequences of unchecked progress and the potential dangers it can pose to humanity. Through the lens of science fiction, she invites readers to reflect on the ethical implications of our actions and the possible outcomes of our current trajectory.

The pacing of the story is excellent, with a good balance between action-packed scenes and introspective moments. The author employs a writing style that keeps readers engaged, successfully building tension and suspense throughout the narrative. The mystery surrounding the identity of "the Eel" is expertly maintained until the climax, keeping readers guessing and invested until the final pages.

While the novel excels in many aspects, there are minor drawbacks to consider. Some readers may find that the ending feels a bit rushed, as loose ends are tied up quickly. Additionally, a few passages could benefit from further development and exploration, particularly when it comes to the characters' motivations and their relationships with one another.

In conclusion, The Eel is a captivating and thought-provoking science fiction novel that will appeal to fans of the genre and beyond. DeFord's impeccable storytelling skills, coupled with her ability to tackle relevant social issues, make this book a must-read. The intricate plot, coupled with the memorable characters and the profound questions it raises, guarantees an entertaining and intellectually stimulating reading experience. Whether you are a seasoned science fiction enthusiast or just dipping your toes in the genre, The Eel delivers a compelling narrative that will leave you pondering its themes long after you turn the final page.

First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Galaxy Science Fiction April 1958. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

the eel


Illustrated by DILLON

The punishment had to fit more than just the crime it had to suit every world in the Galaxy!

He was intimately and unfavorably known everywhere in the Galaxy, but with special virulence on eight planets in three different solar systems. He was eagerly sought on each; they all wanted to try him and punish him in each case, by their own laws and customs. This had been going on for 26 terrestrial years, which means from minus ten to plus 280 in some of the others. The only place that didn't want him was Earth, his native planet, where he was too smart to operate but, of course, the Galactic Police were looking for him there too, to deliver him to the authorities of the other planets in accordance with the Interplanetary Constitution.

For all of those years, The Eel (which was his Earth monicker; elsewhere, he was known by names indicating equally squirmy and slimy life forms) had been gayly going his way, known under a dozen different aliases, turning up suddenly here, there, everywhere, committing his gigantic depredations, and disappearing as quickly and silently when his latest enterprise had succeeded... Continue reading book >>

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