Rogue in Space

by Fredric Brown
Reviewed date: 2019 Dec 11
Rating: 3
163 pages
cover art

I wanted to dislike this book, but I couldn't. The main character Crag is so perfectly loathsome, but also weirdly admirable in a way that made me both uncomfortable and refreshed at reading something new.

Crag is a degenerate criminal who lives for nothing beyond stealing enough money for his next drinking binge. He has no redeeming qualities. Crag hates everyone. He especially hates woman and homosexuals. So much so that when he breaks into an apartment to hide from the police, and notices that the absent owners are a gay couple, he methodically destroys their belongings; ripping their clothes and in particular, shredding their pornography.

But, weirdly, as amoral and criminal as he is, he's refreshingly intolerant of the decadent wickedness he encounters. For example, on Mars a fancy hotel manager offers to provide Crag with all the pleasures money can buy. Crag has come into money. Well, stolen it. Well, earned it. Well, earned it, then stole it. Anyway. And on Mars, apparently, money can buy women and men and little children. Crag's having none of it--the thought of all that wickness and debauchery makes him sick.

Anyway, I'm not quite sure what to make of the book. It's not great. I don't think I even liked it, but I wasn't able to dislike it as much as I wanted.

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