Late in the adventures of his family among the Earth colonists of New Eden, Richard Wakefield states the major premise of The Garden of Rama: ". . . transport them to another world and give them a paradise, but they still come equipped with their fears and insecurities and their cultural predilections." Earth authorities responded to the aliens' expectation of 2000 colonists to travel in the Rama spacecraft with a cover story, attempting to recruit people trained in various occupations and professions for a supposed five-year stint on Mars.
Falling short of the desired quota of applicants from the world's general population, the authorities directed recruiting efforts to inmates of various prisons and penal colonies. As a result, the inhabitants of the New Eden colony included a large number of convicted felons. Some made good on the chance for a new start in life, but others simply plunged into more of the felonious behaviors that had gotten them into prison on Earth. Thus, the colony began with "bad seed" in the mix. And lest the reader view the protagonist's children—who had been born and lived all their lives in the alien environs with no other humans than their parents—as innocents risking corruption by exposure to the evils of their former-convict companions in space, Katie Wakefield is presented from birth as a headstrong child, contrary and frequently disobedient. For her to wind up as a casino "hostess" (prostitute) and drug addict in...
(The entire section is 791 words.)
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