Civilization has practically had it. A ""hyperosmic plague"" has intensified people's sense of smell to the point where they literally can't survive without nose plugs. Simultaneously, the world has been overrun by a nebulous but deadly airborne life form called the Muskies. In the boondocks west of New York, the black virologist Jacob Stone who helped develop the hyperosmia virus has built a little colony to keep technology alive and fend off Muskies, while swearing vengeance on the erstwhile colleague who actually let the stuff loose on the world. The narrator, Stone's 20-year-old son Isham, is forced to sort out the truth of the original crime, keep the Fresh Start colony from downing itself in past mistakes, and communicate telepathically with the Muskies. Good situation developed with a lot of pizzazz--but flawed by a monotonous wisecracking tone and a glib sweetness-and-light ending.