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Matthew Flamen, the last of the networks’ spoolpigeons, is desperate for a big story. He needs it to keep his audience – and his job. And there is no shortage of possibilities: the Gottschalk cartel is fomenting trouble among the knees in order to sell their latest armaments to the blanks; which ties in nicely with the fact that something big id brewing with the X Patriots; and it looks as if the inconceivable is about to happen and that one of Britain’s most dangerous revolutionaries is going to be given a visa to enter America. And then there’s the story that just falls into his lap. The one that suggests that the respected Director of the New York State Mental Hospital is a charlatan.
Winner of the BSFA Award for best novel, 1970
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