This comic novel about an Englishman lost in the surreal high-tech computer country of America’s mid-west describes how the hero Fred Jones goes to America to seek his fortune and ends up with his private life out of control, working for the KGB and people wanting to murder him.
A collection of short stories from the acclaimed author of ‘Bug Jack Barron’. Includes “No Direction Home” which depicts a drug dystopia, and “Sierra Maestra.” A violent rock group with maniacal music boils up a craze for a nuclear blast. A man finds himself blown into a ghastly world by a bolt of lightning.
BUG-EYED MONSTERS ON BROADWAY Pulp SF magazine editor Keith Winton was answering a letter from a teenage fan when the first moon rocket fell back to Earth and blew him away. But where to? Greenville, New York, looked the same, but Bems (Bug-Eyed Monsters) just like the ones on the cover of Startling Stories walked the streets without attracting undue comment. And when he brought out a half-dollar coin in a drugstore, the cops wanted to shoot him on sight as an Arcturian spy. Wait a minute. Seven-foot purple moon-monsters? Earth at war with Arcturus? General Dwight D. Eisenhower in command of Venus Sector? What mad universe was this? One thing was for sure: Keith Winton had to find out fast – or he’d be good and dead, in this universe or any other.
‘The historians can’t seem to settle whether to call this one ‘The Third Space War’ (or the fourth), or whether ‘The First Interstellar War’ fits it better. We just call it ‘The Bug War’. Everything up to then and still later were ‘incidents’, ‘patrols’ or ‘police actions’. However, you are just as dead if you buy the farm in an ‘incident’ as you are if you buy it in a declared war.‘ 5,000 years in the future, humanity faces total extermination. Our one defence: highly-trained soldiers who scour the metal-strewn blackness of space to hunt down a terrifying enemy: an insect life-form known only as ‘Bugs.’ This is the story of trooper Johnny Rico, from his idealistic enlistment in the infantry of the future through his rigorous training to the command of his own platoon. And his destiny is a war that will span the galaxy.
The Day Gabriel Chrome, a failed book sculptor contemplating suicide on the Thames Embankment, stumbled on the suicide bid of the naked Camilla Greylaw, was a day of hopeful redemption for a corrupt and violent world. For the lovely form that he chanced to preserve was the sole carrier of a contagious venereal disease. A bug which could inhibit the aggressive instinct, rendering total placidity in all humans. At once Gabriel’s life has new meaning and purpose. To save mankind becomes his hardened ambition. But mankind seems far from hope.
It was the ultimate case: to stop the ultimate drug… I’m Horowitz. Brandy Horowitz. My husband Sam and I are private eyes who take cases for G.O.D., Inc. – the outfit that runs the Labyrinth to infinite alternate earths filled with crime, danger…and murder. Power-mad fanatics are running a narcotic V.D. that spreads like a bug, works like a drug, and one touch hooks you for good. You don’t become a junkie…you become a zombie. ‘Cause this monkey’s not just on your back, but in your brain – it’s got a mind, and if you kick it, it kicks back with madness and death. So this beautiful black PI and wonderful Jewish sleuth have to smash the source before the drug-bug reaches our client’s Home World. But the opposition’s got fake Sams and Brandys set up in headquarters on the two worlds that hold any possible leads: one that never heard of civil rights… And one ruled by the Nazis.
It makes people positively ache with happiness. It puts the roses back in their cheeks and the itch back in their blood. “It” is the Scholes Virus – proper medical term for what used to be called, out of mawkish ignorance but with uncanny prescience, the “love bug”. Professor Trevor Scholes has discovered, isolated and classified every variety of the infection that now bears his name. One variety, B79/K, is so rare that the odds are fifty thousand to one against two compatible carriers meeting. So of course Giles Cranston and Tamsin McGillivray meet . . .
In the corner gas station, the local saloon, on the down-east farm, in the settings of EVERYDAY – there appear UNEXPECTEDLY THE ALIEN, THE WEIRD, THE MYSTERIOUS The title story tells of one tearful stray from a herd of alien livestock which crushes most of Manhattan and causes apologetic herders to make amends. There is a shivery novelette about the abduction of a country wife by a hairy beast, and the story of a pickup truck full of mythical characters asking directions to Olympus. Then there are the ten-legged blue bugs from inner – or outer – space that can give you a dream – or a nightmare; the shadow-monkeys who have the absurd habit of following along and changing by what you think; the tiny angel that hatches from an egg; and the ‘wrens’ that hatch from Grandpa’s beard the summer he was 106.
The new millennium has barely begun when a vast fleet of alien vessels descends without warning on the Earth. Some starships blaze mighty trails of fire; some pop into view, unfathomably silent. Three different but equally strange kinds of alien emerge. Wide-eyed UFOlogists who rush to welcome them are scooped up like bugs collected for study. The aliens make no response when the governments attempt to communicate with them, but a single act of resistance to them provokes massive retaliation. This is the first major catastrophe of the alien years and it will be followed by others. In silence the aliens take control of the world, effortlessly enslaving what remains of its population. On a remote California ranch, the Carmichaels are a family of blue-eyed, straight-backed patriots, flawed by narrow thinking and repressed emotions – but redeemed by their courage. With them rests the slender hope that natives of Earth may one day be free. (First published 1997)
In the near future, the debt-laden U.S. owns a technology that renders it “the world’s best-defended Third World country.” The only real outer-space planning is in Common Europe, so young American “space cadet” Jerry Reed goes to work in Paris. He falls in love with and marries Soviet career bureaucrat Sonya Gagarin and the story jumps ahead 20 years, blending world events with a focus on their family. Sonya’s star has risen with the Euro-Russians’ while Jerry has been stymied by pervasive anti-Americanism. Daughter Franja has her father’s space fever and enrolls in a Russian space school; son Bob, fiercely curious about an earlier, admired America before it was run by xenophobic “Gringos,” enters Berkeley. Ten years later the U.S. is a pariah, Euro-Russia the pet of the civilized world and the Reeds scattered – politics forced Jerry and Sonya’s divorce, Franja speaks only to her mother and Bob is trapped in “Festung Amerika.” A series of odd, occasionally tragic events brings the family (and the world) together. Despite some tech-talk this is not science fiction: the first two-thirds of this hefty book is chillingly logical, if sometimes very funny, and while the “happy” ending may seem forced, Spinrad ( Bug Jack Barron ) gives us a wild, exhilarating ride into the next century.