BAD NEWS by Paul Spike


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A hybrid by Barthelme-Calvano out of Vonnegut/New Wave science fiction in which Mr. Spike shuffles isolated experiences with the crisp skill of a riverboat shark. The initial chapters consist of a restless colloidal suspension of fixed points -- sex, a political meeting, Mr. Mace and circuses, giant apes overrunning the British Isles, an assassination, etc. There are sequences of slick talk which in their perfectibility present no progress (""The progress he had been making had made itself into a receding line placed directly on top of its identical""). Then the invention is explained which has made man into a Personality Home via Experience Batteries. Man is now called ""speck."" Then on to ""quarks"" -- (fifteen quarks replace billions of batteries) and beyond that the shadow. The last chapter returns to a humming demonstration thereof. Ingenious but the message is all bad news, for after the flood of glossy talk and manufactured attitudes, one accepts the corollary that ""the bomb is made of leftovers.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1971
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston