A SPLENDID CHAOS by John Shirley
Kirkus Star


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Intriguing abduction-by-aliens yarn, from the author of Eclipse (1985). Young hopeful moviemaker Zero and his friends enter an oddly-situated New York disco--and wake, bewildered, on an alien planet crammed with hungry, menacing lifeforms; apparently watching everything, but not interfering, are the alien Meta. Along with the humans are representatives of dozens of weird alien races. Of the humans, former professor Fiskle advocates a nco-Social-Darwinist policy: kill or enslave the aliens, dominate the humans. Fiskle has also learned to employ the currents of mind-and-body-bending IAMton psi-particles to produce Twists, enhanced humans mostly of evil intent. To Zero and his friends, the only hope of making sense of the situation and defeating the dangerous Fiskle is to form a multi-species expedition to reach a Progress Station, set up by the Meta and said to contain advanced technology. Such a quest, however, is fraught with peril--and, sometimes, Fiskle grows more powerful and insensate. Finally, Zero reaches the Progress Station and endures a confrontation with the Meta, where he receives some well-deserved (though not wholly satisfying) answers. Snapping, snarling, full-wrought drama, vigorously inventive and thoughtful despite pontificatory tendencies in the closing chapters: a vastly improved and often splendid adventure.

Pub Date: April 18th, 1988
Publisher: Watts