Like Robert Silverberg's excellent Time of the Great Freeze (1964, p.307, -105) this story involves speculation about a future civilization existing beneath the surface of the earth. In this case, the community, known as Surreal, has developed from a small band of survivors who retreated at the time of the Great Destruction, In the following centuries a civilization which is technologically, intellectually, and socially extremely advanced has been developed. Despite the widespread belief that Surreal is the only remaining society, it suddenly develops that there is another, apparently hostile, group of people which is draining off the city's all-important electricity. Meanwhile a 12-year-old boy, Luke P 9 becomes so curious about the outer world that he overcomes his fears of the poisonous gases on earth, against which the citizens of Surreal are continually warned. Accompanied first by his friend Eric and then by his elder brother Paul, he ventures outside and meets Agatha, who can communicate with him by telepathy (a radiation benefit). The boys discover that the atmosphere has become harmless, and that the people, although primitive, are very friendly and willing to welcome their neighbors in Surreal to the earth. While there are plenty of loopholes in this portrayal of the future, junior science fiction enthusiasts will find it an intriguing and diverting story.