From the 1960s; a sci-fi novel where the Constitution outlawed leaders from advocating for war. A feature of this future society was that as a symbol of non-aggression, people would amputate first a leg and have it replaced with a powerful prosthetic limb, then the other leg, and so on. The logo on the cover was a triskelion legs?


1 Answer 1


Limbo, a 1952 novel by Bernard Wolfe which was also the answer to this old question. The cover you remember is from the first edition:

hardcocer copy of Limbo featuring "triskelion" of three human legs

Plot summary from Fantastic Fiction:

It is 1990 and strange people have arrived on a remote island in the Indian Ocean. Rather than organic arms and legs, they have robotic prosthetics that allow them to leap over trees and throw heavy weights. With them, news arrives that the U.S. and USSR are no more: the two superpowers had waged computer-driven atomic war leaving vast swaths of the world uninhabitable, but now a new international movement of pacifism has taken hold. Dr. Martine, a neurosurgeon who had hidden on the island to escape the horrors of the war, decides it is time to return to America and find out what has happened to the world he knew. To his horror he discovers human aggression has been curbed through voluntary amputation - literal disarmament - and those who have undergone this surgery are highly esteemed in this new society. But they have a problem - their prosthetics require a rare metal to function, and international tensions are rising over which countries get the right to mine it. Ambitious, outrageous, witty, and groundbreaking, Limbo, first published in 1952, is a cult dystopian classic that is often cited as one of the best science fiction novels of the twentieth century. It anticipates cyberpunk's fascination with man-machine interface and draws heavily on the cultural observations of Freud and Norbert Wiener (the inventor of cybernetics), all while grappling with sex, power, self-control, and the inherently ambivalent nature of mankind.

  • 3
    100% I could not dig it out of my brain. I am glad you did. Thank you.
    – ted
    Feb 23, 2023 at 2:09
  • Pretty close to accurate timing on predicting the breakup of the USSR. US, maybe give us a few more decades... Feb 24, 2023 at 18:46

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