Half Past Human

T. J. Bass
Half Past Human Cover

Half Past Human


I would probably rank this a 3.7. I liked the premise and some of the execution, however the author was a doctor and it showed. He would lapse into medical jargon at the drop of a hat. As for the story, it is sometime in the far future, man has evolved due to overpopulation into underground dwellers and they've used the surface as gardens in order to feed everyone. In order to manage underground, man has also evolved smaller and four toed. For some reason five toed humans are banished outside and hunted. By this time apparently mankind had hunted all animal life to extinction, and these four toed humans live on "patties" some kind of extract of plant, though it is basically tasteless, those that can afford it can get "flavored" protein, which it turns out is basically the hunted five toes and any four toed that have died.

This is the story of a revolution when the five toed, fight back. There is a recessive gene among the four toed, that occasionally results in a five toed baby. One of the recessive gene carriers, Tinker, has an unauthorized baby, with five toes. Instead of dumping it down the chutes, like a good citizen, he runs away and goes outside. There he meets a band of five toed people and the story is underway. There is some humorous scenes, which I liked, but the over use of medical terms and the kind of far fetched outcome knocked it down a bit.