JACK WILLIAMSON – Bright New Universe. Ace G-641, paperback original, 1967. Cover art by John Schoenherr. Collected in Seventy-Five: The Diamond Anniversary of a Science Fiction Pioneer (Hafner Press, hardcover, 2004).

   Idealism is confronted with reality, as Adam Cave meets opposition, then disappointment, as he rejects the material comfort which could be his on Earth. The Moon is the site of Project Lifeline, aimed at sending signals to space, seeking other life in the universe. He does not know contact has been made, with his own father, believed dead, and organized opposition has already been created,

   His conflict is with those who feel change is always destructive, and indeed with white racists who know their values cannot withstand the shock if the alien culture as it overwhelms Earth’s. The symbol of his triumph is a small Negro boy who now has the power of a transgalactic civilization at his fingertips.

   There is a message here, and it is obvious. […] The characters are symbols and little more. It comes as a shock to realize how crude the writing style is, as compared to a craftsman such as [for example] mystery writer Ross Macdonald. There are the ideas, though. Williamson meant for better things, but [this time around], he doesn’t succeed.

— July 1968.