DRAMOCLES by Robert Sheckley


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Sheckley is a master of the sf short story whose full-length, comedy appearances don't always work; such is the case here. King Dramocles of Glorm, whose palace is so huge he frequently gets lost in it, is bored--until he receives a message that triggers buried memories, voices telling him to fulfill his destiny. So, after consulting his talking computer (it once knew Isaac Newton, and suffers the mild delusion that it's a 17th-century Latvian living in London) and worrying about his image (his PR man takes care of that), Dramocles starts a war against his various wacky neighbors. But then his father, Otho the Weird, turns up unexpectedly (he'd supposedly blown himself to pieces 30 years ago): Otho is now the mysterious sorcerer Tlaloc, owns the Earth in an alternate reality, and intends to make himself--and Dramocles--immortal by blowing up Glorm and everything else. But Dramocles, as you might expect, isn't too keen on the idea. . . Early on, there are several hilarious moments and some wickedly clever parodies--but thereafter this comic sfandango fades quickly into anonymous farce.

Pub Date: Aug. 29th, 1983
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston