I don't remember seeing Sea of Glass, by Barry B. Longyear, on 'top' science fiction lists - or stumbling across it in website recommendations; but I do remember this novel from reading it in (about...) 1990. What I remember is the brutality, terror and a dystopian future world on the brink of war.
The novel follows the life of Thomas Windom - the strange years trapped inside his parent's home hiding from a population control program designed by a computer in charge of half the world, brutal years at a camp for illegal children, hopeful years on the run, puzzling years linked into the computer as a legal citizen employed by the government and years supporting the system that was (at least partly) responsible for his earliest agonies.
The brutal computer manipulated dystopian future is what I remember from reading it 20 years ago. When rereading it recently I was much more engaged by the issues of faith and fate that the novel explores.
I am not sure why in the past twenty years I did not stumble on and reread this book, it is too good to be absent from top/'best of' lists! What good luck to have found it again!
Rating: 4 of 5 First Read Date: 1990 (about), reread October, 2011