The author's computer engineer—UFO expert Joe Jamison (Deadly Objectives, etc.)—has agreed to give a talk at a science-fiction convention at Minneapolis' Wellesford Regal Hotel. Dan Bascombe heads the committee of eccentrics making arrangements for the weekend, and a contentious lot they are—abrasive, macho Cass Grenzman; pure-food freak Diz Donovan; good-looking, flaky Maureen Tesla and her boyfriend of the moment, Wade Yates, among others. They're all at the hotel along with a crowd of sf fans; vendors of assorted wares, including lethal knives; hard-drinking college kids; security guards provided by the hotel; and Jamison's friend—ex-cop Mack Forrester, hired to keep the conventioneers out of the hair of other hotel guests. But no one bargains for the nasty tricks that bug proceedings from day one—a bomb scare; damage to the hotel kitchens; a blackout; and finally the murder of Cass Grenzman in the middle of a game of "killers" played in the hotel corridors and stairwells. A second victim is found soon after—as Mack and Jamison try to find their way to a solution through a welter of walkie-talkies, laser guns, costumed participants, exits and entrances, and a host of tenuous motives. The culprit declares himself in the melodramatic but ungripping finale to a dull, confusing puzzle—the chief virtue of which is a look at the ditsy side of science-fiction enthusiasts. Taylor has done much better.
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