STAR GRIFFIN by Michael Kurland


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In this admirably restrained, broadly amusing cyberpunk parody, near-future high-tech society muddies along, though beset by an assortment of nutty (and occasionally lethal) fringe groups. Peter Lyon, a courier for the Griffin Universal conglomerate, arrives in Bangkok to pick up a briefcase--and finds two office workers murdered and the briefcase apparently empty. Griffin boss Mr. Parker orders Peter to take the briefcase and continue with his mission (as bait, it turns out, since the thieves didn't get what they were after). Griffin agent Escobarga gives Peter a list of fringe groups actively under suspicion (they have a common factor: alt advocate travel to other stars) and the long-suffering Peter, still carrying the briefcase, cautiously begins his investigation. It emerges that Griffin has secretly invented a star drive with one large drawback: a ship equipped with it can go to only one place, and return. The information in the briefcase was supposedly the solution to the navigation problem; actually it's merely a means to flush out the high-level turncoat in the Griffin organization. Naturally, things don't turn out exactly as planned. All in all, a refreshing change of pace, made the more enjoyable by Kurland's agreeably tightknit narrative and deadpan delivery.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1987
Publisher: Doubleday