The Tomorrow City by Monica City


i) Title: The Tomorrow City
ii) Author: Monica Hughes
iii) Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Children's Books, Ltd.
iv) Number of Pages: 137

i) The plot of this book centres around two adolescents, David and
Caro and an evil supercomputer which aspires to control the
futuristic city of Thompsonville. Dr. Henderson, Caro's Father
creates the "perfect" computer designed to solve all of the
problems of Thompsonville by gaining almost complete power of the
city. The computer then begins to make rash decisions of it's own.
It decides that humans are incapable of making decisions of there
own and soon devises a method of controlling the minds of everyone
in the city.
Only two young people, Caro and David, are not manipulated by
the computer. They band together and work out a strategy to
disable the computer. The two make a daring infiltration of the
building that the computer is located and after a traumatic episode
in which Caro is blinded, the computer is destroyed and the city is
returned to it's previous state.

ii) The theme of the book is to show that technology is not a
perfect solution to the many problems faced by man. By using a
product of technology, the computer, and showing how it was
supposed to be a perfect solution to the city's problems, yet it
made a grave error in calculations, the author is saying that many
problems faced by man cannot be solved by the use of technology.

iii) Technology played a negative role in this book. The computer,
the major aspect of technology used in this book, used its
capabilities to immorally rule the citizens and the city of
Thompsonville. The computer transmitted hypnotic signals through
peoples T.V. sets and would use them to carry out it's will to
ultimately control the city. It then discarded anything or anyone
who were useless to it's purpose including the elderly and the

One of the major arguments that the author uses to emphasize the
theme is the significant malfunctioning of the computer. It was
designed to be flawless and solve the numerous problems of the
city. But, the computer's rationing is shown throughout the book
to be poor.
The methods in which it goes about solving the city's problems
were both ruthless and numerous. To clean up the city's streets
the computer takes advantage of it's hypnotic capabilities to
either direct out or kill any of the city's "undesirables". To
make the city run more efficiently, the computer changes everyone's
job on the basis of I.Q. without warning. To deal with the
elderly, the computer orders henchman to kidnap the elderly and
bring them into elderly institutions without anyone's consent.

I fully agree with the the author's point of view in the book.
It has clearly demonstrated the idea of many individuals and groups
of today that technology can solve all of man's problems. It is
true, however, that technology has lead to many innovations that
have greatly aided man such as advances in medicine. However,
history has shown many times that technology can sometimes be more
damaging than helpful.
A major problem with technology is that it may solve one
problem but as a result create many more problems than it has
solved. An example would be nuclear energy. Nuclear technology
has solved many problems relating to power generation but has
produced such side effects as hazardous waste and weapons of mass