Somehow uranium, like the base metals (iron, etc.) seems to bring out the worst in men and books. Here, against a background of concussive sound effects (""The air compressor grunted in the broiling canyon. Whirring metal screamed against stone""), you will have to try and gain you footing on soft shale and crumbling slag to follow the affiliated activities of those engaged in a uranium rush in a sector along the Cheyenne River: Sam Bolton, cattle king, staking out claims as if there were no tomorrow, and probably there won't be (the bomb); a Dr. Bush directing an expedition, and a younger member thereof unstable Paul Morris who, via a local girl Lucy, is ""reduced to the urgent flows and thirsts and stinks of the body"": Bob Werner, of National Mining, and hawk-eyed Senator White who owns 40% of it; wildcatters Wally and Bert who come out very well, and are last seen in Vegas just before a big Atom Test is scheduled to go off. . . . Obscuring the menacing possibility of a nuclear holocaust, the vulgar reality of Mr. Brunner's prose.