HUYSMAN'S PETS by Kate Wilhelm


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Like Welcome, Chaos (1983), another low-key sf thriller whose plot and ideas are strongly reminiscent of the psycho-puzzlers of English author L.P. Davies. Easy-going writer Drew Lancaster is pondering whether to tackle the biography of recently dead, erratic bioengineering genius Stanley Everett Huysman. Though Huysman's widow Irma has promised full access to the great man's papers, Drew hesitates: Huysman's life and work was complicated and controversial, but perhaps not dramatic enough for a successful biography. Then Drew is questioned by Secret Service agent Leon Lauder, on the track of book dealer and sometime counterfeiter Arnie Sorbies. The plot, which readers are forced to take largely on faith, thickens to include Drew's ex-wife Pat, now Senator-chasing in Washington; and some kids (products of Huysman's researches on twins) show up, apparently by chance. Eventually, everything converges on a clinic run by Claude Dohemy, a former associate of Huysman, who has imprisoned a hundred or more kids, all of whom--thanks to Huysman's manipulations--can communicate via telepathy and empathy. Dohemy, lining up some influential backers, has prepared a psychic demonstration where he will present the kids as perfect espionage tools. The kids, however, have other ideas; they have brought everyone together--in order to wreck the demonstration and utterly discredit Dohemy; thus they will win their freedom without governmental suspicion or meddling. Enjoyable, sometimes; but overall, sub-par Wilhelm.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Bluejay--dist. by St. Martin's