As with The Mutant Weapon, another in Murray Leinster’s Med Ship series, This World is Taboo is surprisingly well thought out. It’s a creature of its time, replete with strong men, protected women, and sexist assumptions, but Leinster takes some digs even at some of those stereotypes. There’s a romantic element that we’re simply supposed to assume, but most of the plot follows a fairly reliable internal logic. The science is more suggested than described, but it doesn’t get in the way of the story. Calhoun is a likeable hero, and while he’s thoroughly competent, the Med Service he works for isn’t – a refreshing touch of gray for the era.
The firm backseat role for women is a little hard to get past in places, but aside from that, this is a novel that has held up fairly well. It’s fun, solid, and undemanding.