Apocalypse arrives in northern California in the form of a no-antidote fungoid slime, or slimy fungus, which attacks folks, recodes their DNA pattern, and generally turns them into a mucky mess starting with their skin. (All this makes Carlile's slime victims considerably more photogenic than Stephen King's flu-bitten folks in The Stand.) Our hero is Sander Quence, the only G.P. practicing in Mendocino, who happens to be in a bar one night and sees the first public outbreak of the disease when a man at the bar goes crazy and can barely be knocked out with a pool cue. Soon the doctor is noticing a strange slime everywhere. Within two days the town is under armed guard because of the violent outbreak of the weird viral fungus which seems almost to have arrived from outer space. In fact, meteor showers have dropped meteorites all over the area--has the horror come from. . . well. . . God? Or has the town been hit by a strange Russian germ warfare device? The Chinese in Nan Shah, China, don't think so, since they've nuked the site of their own plague outbreak and atomized a million countrymen. The President agrees that this is the only way to save the U.S. and the world: bomb Mendocino and zap that fungus forever. . . while tireless medical researchers seek an antidote right up to launch time. As idiotic as it sounds, but that monster mildew is conveyed with slimy effectiveness.