HYACINTHS by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro


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Full-sensory, taped dream-entertainment for mass consumption: that's the gnarled sf notion which Yarbro (Tempting Fate, Path of the Eclipse) strives to put across as a cynical Network-style drama here. . . with sluggish, talky results. The Dreamers, lured by promises of wealth and privilege, prodded and cajoled by their Muses, and kept on track by shrinks, produce the Dreams--but they soon succumb to psychotic ""burnout"" and become basket cases. The relentless network doesn't care, there are huge profits to be made; and, for the unscrupulous, there's a thriving black market in the psychotic Dreams. Among the characters: jealous, resentful producer Jehanne Bliss, clawing for a seat on the network's board; her mean, smug lover Nash Harding, who wants a network of his own, and sells psychotic tapes on the side; and her weary, fearful ex-husband, shrink-cum-Dreamer Tony MacKenzie, who sees a correlation between the psychotic Dreams and a growing insanity in the population at large. The plot, then, involves a welter of backstabbing, tricks, threats, and tortuous manipulation--but there's nothing much to propel it all; and, what with the conveyor-belt prose and nonexistent backdrop, the blurry, weak cast and their non-stop yakking will anesthetize all but the most committed readers.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1983
Publisher: Doubleday