A friend told me about this novel way, way back in the early 1990s. I kept forgetting the name of it, but finally bought a copy several years ago, and just now got around to reading it. From the moment Bruce told me about the novel I was intrigued by the situation: People living on a space ship have been there so long they’ve forgotten that they are on a ship and believe it is the whole of space.
From there it’s kind of downhill. Like so many science fiction novels of its time, Orphans of the Sky suffers from pretty thin characterization and a paint-by-the-numbers plot. The muties were an interesting touch, and honestly, the character I probably liked the most was Bobo. Basically, it’s a great idea that just wasn’t executed very well.
Still, the short novel is worth reading. It won’t take you long. I would have read it much faster if I’d had the time, but I was limited to a few pages here and there.