Earth, 2000 years after the holocaust which drove man deep underground; a ghostly, deserted planet peopled only by the diligent robots who, century after century, silently harvest grain which no man will eat. Up into this eerie world comes Mel, a questioning young Roamer who has disobeyed the Law which says he must never venture into or beyond the Lost Levels. Together with three companions, and a companion not of this earth, Mel takes on the awesome task of freeing human beings from the tyranny imposed upon them by their remote ancestors; of justifying the agonized cry of Barney as he died in a Forbidden Level; 'I am a man! Everything is for Man!'
Richard Cowper (1926 - 2002)
Born John Middleton Murry, Jnr, the son of writer John Middleton Murry, Richard Cowper was the pseudonym under which most of his science fiction was published (he wrote four novels under the name 'Colin Murry'). He served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, although he as lucky enough not to see combat. After the war, he read Anglo-Saxon and English at Oxford. His works were shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, British Fantasy and Locus Awards. He died in 2002, four weeks after the death of his wife.