Nihilon is an independent little kingdom with a ""perfect system of regimented chaos"" and five outsiders come to write a guidebook although Mr. Sillitoe does not develop the specifics too extensively: women are equal so they can do ail the heavy work -- construction, hauling; the old are sent away to die fighting at the frontier; too many children are discouraged -- some are eliminated; etc. Before too long outsider Benjamin Smith joins the insurrectionary movement which eliminates the old order although the new Nihilon doesn't seem any better off, in fact worse. . . . A very slight jape in which the spiritual-sociopolitical cartography is kept to a minimum so that you can't help but wonder about its ultimate destiny (can nothing only come of nothing?) although no one will impugn its amiability.