Make Room! Make Room!
is a 1966 Science Fiction
novel by Harry Harrison
It is set in the Crapsack World
of the far-future year of 1999, beset by overpopulation and environmental collapse, where a bland artificial food called soylent (made from soy and lentils) is the best thing most people ever get to eat.
It is now best-known as the inspiration for the film Soylent Green
. (The famous secret of Soylent Green was invented for the movie, and isn't in the book.)
This novel provides examples of:
- Crapsack World: In addition to the everything crapsack-y about the movie, the transportation system has completely broken down. In other words, everyone is trapped in the city; the only non-human-powered vehicles mentioned are old buses taken from a history museum, used by the police and running on extremely low grade fuel.
- The End Is Nigh: A secondary character in the novel is a defrocked priest who's eagerly awaiting the turn of the millennium, which he assumes will bring the end of the world.
- Future Food Is Artificial: Soylent steaks made of soy and lentils are an expensive item.
- Gaia's Lament
- Global Warming: Barely a page goes by without someone complaining about the ever-present humidity... in New York City at winter time.
- New Year Has Come: The novel ends shortly after midnight on January 1, 2000.
- Only Electric Sheep Are Cheap: Even soy-based faux steak is expensive and worth practically rioting over.
- Post Peak Oil: Cities effectively become their own totally isolated city states when the oil becomes too rare to use. The only form of travel mentioned are large freighters (shipping food to the millions effectively trapped in cities).
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: The book was written in 1966 and set in 1999.
- Used Future