The Overman Culture (1972) by Edmund Cooper is without doubt the strangest, most unreasonable, far-fetched, peculiar and probably unnecessary story ever told. The mystery hangs together very well, but its explanation is not far from drivelsome. It’s a mercifully short book, and I say merciful because a pay off like that, even with a reasonable build up, is probably not worth the wait.
Yet still pick it up. The idea of trying to overcome a world made of fantasy is such a compelling theme, and it doesn’t matter if it’s somewhere between The Truman Show, The Stepford Wives and The Matrix, the very fact that it’s got Zeppelins in it betrays its fast-beating steampunk heart.
Edmund Cooper (1926 – 1982), who also wrote under the names Richard Avery, George Kinley, Broderick Quain and Martin Lester (those are just the ones I know about) wrote quickly, like many SF authors, and his books are typical to the genre, and very often about one person against the world, and very often a post-apocalyptic world at that.