THE TOMORROW FILE by Lawrence Sanders


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Tomorrow's not far off in a plastiworld (everything, by the way, does seem to be plastiformed) of acronyms, computers, cassettes, clones, spare parts, genetic variants, government-licensed pregnancies and genders, synthetic foods and drugs, cosmetics to be applied to your most intimate recesses, and chromosomatic "efs" and "ems" (i.e., females, males)--a world in which you could easily lose your mind as well as your Personhood. In fact the plaintive message on page 520 is "What will we do when the mystery is gone?" The only em you'll have to remember is Dr. Nicholas Bennington Flair--he of the Tomorrow File where ideas for the future are to be developed--like the Ultimate Pleasure pill. This is the nearest thing to a story line--the UP which will serve for jerking off or "mildifying" terrorism or increasing production or perhaps subjugating the people (if that's what they still are). (Although there's a fringe coterie of Obsos--religious or health nuts--or Beists, who believe in the Life Force.) You'll find an occasional subsidiary drama here and there: an outbreak of botulism (from licking stamps) or an attempt to preserve the brain of a great but doomed man. But mostly this is a long workup with lots of programmed manipulation, mechanical accessories, massive input of scientific gear and terminology. Sanders, as everyone knows, is a showy and inventive writer but difficult to stabilize between his best books (The Anderson Tapes; The First Deadly Sin) and his Down pills. Like this one which really sinks in the absence of a scenario. But then of course in this new order where they've thought of everything, they have their own newspeak like "Scan and Destroy." It could be self-fulfilling.
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1975
ISBN: 0586060634
Page count: 640pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1975


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