The future is a grim place in which the declining human population wanders, drugged and lulled by electronic bliss. It's a world without art, reading and children, a world where people would rather burn themselves alive than endure. Even Spofforth, the most perfect machine ever created, cannot bear it and seeks only that which he cannot have - to cease to be. But there is hope for the future in the passion and joy that a man and woman discover in love and in books, hope even for Spofforth. A haunting novel, reverberating with anguish but also celebrating love and the magic of a dream.
"A moral tale that has elements of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Superman, and Star Wars."--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Set in a far future in which robots run a world with a small and declining human population, this novel could be considered an unofficial sequel to Fahrenheit 451, for its central event and symbol is the rediscovery of reading."--San Francisco Chronicle
"Because of its affirmation of such persistent human values as curiosity, courage, and compassion, along with its undeniable narrative power, Mockingbird will become one of those books that coming generations will periodically rediscover with wonder and delight."--The Washington Post
"I've read other novels extrapolating the dangers of computerization but Mockingbird stings me, the writer, the hardest. The notion, the possibility, that people might indeed lose the ability, and worse, the desire to read, is made acutely probable."--New York Times bestselling author ANNE MCCAFFREY
"Walter Tevis is science fiction's great neglected master, one of the definitive bridges between sf and literature. For those who know his work only through the movies, the lucid prose and literary vision of Mockingbird and The Man Who Fell to Earth will come as a revelation."
--AL SARRANTONIO, Author of The Five Worlds saga -- Review
Walter Tevis (1928-84) was born in San Francisco but his family moved to Kentucky when he was ten. However, he was suffering from rheumatic fever and was left behind, alone in hospital. He rejoined his family in Kentucky after a year and attended school there. After service as a carpenter's mate in the Second World War, he went to the University of Kentucky where he earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in English. He then taught at various high schools in Kentucky before becoming a professor at the University of Ohio. He began publishing science fiction in 1957. He published The Hustler in 1959 and The Man Who Fell to Earth in 1963 but he was struggling with a serious drink problem and a long gap in his writing career followed. However, in the four years before his death from cancer, he published Mockingbird, which is now widely recognized as a science-fiction classic, The Steps of the Sun and The Queen's Gambit.