What if spider-like creatures were the top of the food chain and used humans as slaves and for entertainment and meat? Would you be selected as a buck, or would be join the majority of males as a castrate? And if you’re a woman, would you be selected for breeding or sent to the arena to fight for your life against an assortment of deadly alien animals. It’s a chilling vision and one that, in ‘Spiderworld’ by Richard Bunning, Timelord Orlando Oversight assures us will one day not be fiction.
I read so many books that it’s hard to find any that really excite me, but this one does. The characters are a mix of humans and spider-like aliens. There’s Boklung, a verbose rather pompous spider chap, and an assortment of humans, the primary one being Jack who is determined to keep the Spartacus myth alive. The story revolves around Jack’s efforts to gain freedom and Boklung’s education of a neigbouring alien on the finer points of human breeding as well as his political maneuvering to ensure a better future for the human race. Thank goodness for enlightened spiders!
Readers who enjoy a bit of metaphysics in their fiction will particularly enjoy it. And if you like off-beat sci fi or any kind of speculative fiction, I’d say you really should read it. 5 stars.