Copyright 1978 by
I first read this in January 1908 and most recently on the 1st July 2002.
Mutagen is the company that revolutionised genetic engineering. They've even been able
to manipulate the genes of humans to create gods worshipped by the rest of humanity.
Now they're going to attempt to save an alien race from extinction by some brilliant
application of their near-magical techniques.
Our hero, Nick Harmon, intrepid public relations officer, has landed what should be a
plumb job: he's to escorting an Alta-Tyberian alien around town while Mutagen work on
saving the alien's species. Of course the alien is not really in the best of spirits,
balanced on the edge of racial extinction and all. Nick also does himself no good by
being late to meet the alien and managing a number of insults in the initial contact.
And when the man-made gods start getting assassinated, Nick's particularly upset,
because these dudes are his personal friends. Nick decides that he's going to have to
save the gods himself, and rescue his alien charge from becoming the scapegoat of angry
Luckily, as a public relations officer, Nick is, of course, up to the job.
OK, OK, so it's really for teenagers but it was fun and exciting when I first read it,
even if now it's terribly, terribly trite. There were some great ideas - multiple
universes and turning humans into gods by genetic engineering. I was all for the latter, and in
fact am still awaiting, though rather less hopefully, a sufficient advance in genetic
techniques to make it possible. I'd take the godhood over multiple universes any day.
The only book I've read by Mr Fast. He's not a prolific writer and perhaps his main claim to fame is
co-authoring the Disney children's book "The Rocketeer" which is a movie I
enjoyed (as a bratlet I spent many of my Saturday mornings watching "Rocket Man" at the
What's it got? aliens, alien sex, bondage, drugs, genetic engineering, less than
awe-inspiring demigods reduced to performing as sideshow acts. I should perhaps point
out, before you rush to buy the book, that the alien sex, drugs and indeed the bondage
aren't exactly earth-shaking episodes within the novel.
Loaded on the 19th August 2002.