SUM VII by T. W. Hard


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The mummy walks!--yes, folks, that old story, foolishly but pleasantly rehashed, with the added appeal of much medical brouhaha and even a faint bid for the extraterrestrial Chariots of the Gods crowd. ""SUM VII"" is State University Mummy VII, the embalmed body of a high priest from the time of the great pyramid-builder, Pharaoh Khufu; SUM has been found in a treasure-filled hidden desert tomb by biological archaeologist J. Arnold Reilly and medical student Bryan St. John, our moderately likable narrator. Back in California, this medical team finds the body to be ""preserved tea degree far beyond our wildest expectations,"" even the face--so why not hook up the high priest to a cardiac bypass machine and see what happens. ""Fibrillation!"" Of course. And soon SUM VII is sitting up and learning English, though he does have awful seizures when he learns that he's been sleeping for a few thousand years. And there are some disturbing questions: why does SUM VII not speak Egyptian, but rather some unidentifiable (even by computer) tongue? and why do bone fragments from SUM VII carbon-date as 27,000 years old instead of 4,5009. Then, following the old horror-movie pattern, SUM VII escapes, magically turning a guard to stone in the process. So the rest of the book is the search for the missing, abused, dangerous mummy--he's being sheltered by a sympathetic nurse--which ends with his death from an aneurysm, and with a final speculation about SUM VII having been an outer-space visitor who changed history: ""Did Egypt really spring out of a primitive society of mud huts, or had there been assistance from a race far older and wiser than ourselves?"" A silly book destined to be a silly movie--but harmless and a lot less pretentious than it might have been.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1979
Publisher: Harper & Row