The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

This novel is a sequel to “Clash by Night” (Astounding Science-Fiction, March, 1943), which told of the Free Companions, mercenaries hired to fight for the warring human colonies on Venus so that what is left of human civilization after the atomic destruction of Earth has a chance to prosper in the Keeps, domed cities on the ocean floor. The Free Companions play only a minor role in Fury, which takes place several decades later, when the Keeps have been united and most of the Free Companions have died. Fury relates the great contest of wills between Zachariah Harker, one of the Immortals, mutated humans with seven-hundred-year life spans who exert de facto rule over the Keeps, and Sam Reed, a vicious, driven criminal who at first does not realize that he is an Immortal. The stakes are the colonization of the surface of the planet, a job that will be fantastically difficult because of the savage plant and animal life. The Immortals, taking the long view, know that colonization must occur eventually or the human race will stagnate. They fear, however, that if it is attempted too soon, it will fail, and humanity will lack the will to try again. Sam sees it as a way to build an empire and is determined to carry it out as soon as possible.

The book opens as an Immortal, Blaze Harker, goes mad following the death of his wife in childbirth. Blaming the child for his wifes death, he has it surgically altered and raised by foster parents so it will never learn its true heritage as an Immortal. Young Sam Reed inherits superior abilities and a predisposition to anger and resentment. He quickly becomes frustrated,...

(The entire section is 676 words.)