NIGHT OF POWER by Spider Robinson


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Grim, controversial warnings on the likelihood of racial war--from the author of such science-fiction novels as Mindkiller (1982). In 1996, continued government neglect and an unpopular involvement in an African war (black draftees and casualties are more numerous than white) have exacerbated racial tensions to the breaking point. The Grant family--rich inventor Russell, his black dancer-wife Dena, and his white daughter Jennifer--is heading for New York; they blunder into danger in the Bronx--and are saved through the intervention of charismatic black leader Brother Michael. But gradually the Grants learn that there's a black conspiracy, headed by Michael, intent on armed revolution. Even more disturbing: Russell discovers by accident that a trusted co-conspirator intends to assassinate Michael at the critical moment and seize power for himself! So, amid lots of racial and political consciousness-raising, Rassell and Dena go to warn Michael as the ""night of power"" unfolds; Michael's underground army soon controls most of New York. (Jennifer and 'her black/Hispanic bodyguard Jose are cut off and must fight, often horribly, to survive the night.) And Michael's ultimate solution to the race problem is a drastic one: he demands that the government cede the states of Pennsylvania and New York(!)--which will become an independent black ""homeland"" called Equity. Brutal, gloomy, rather simplistic conjectures--crisply and vividly narrated, but too full of implausible or unworkable ideas to really provoke or satisfy.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1985
Publisher: Baen--dist. by Simon & Schuster