The message floated in the sky for all to read; citizens chanted it to each other, motorists tooted it on their car horns as they drove the uncongested freeways. Earth had become a paradise, courtesy of Cordwainer Hardware International; population dwindling, war a thing of the past, free, untrammelled sex the right of all. But is paradise everything . . .?
In this vividly realised novel, S. G. Compton charts the growth of CHI and the bland, idyllic world they engineered. Too idyllic for some; for beneath the surface darker forces were at work. At their heart was Scudder Laznett; brilliant, irascible, uncompromising. Scudder had begun a little game of his own; what that game was, Pete Laznett only discovered by slow degrees.
And what he discovered was horrifying.
D G Compton (1930 - )
David Guy Compton was born in London in 1930. His early works were crime novels published under 'Guy Compton', but he began producing SF as 'D.G. Compton' in 1965 with The Quality of Mercy. His 1970 novel The Steel Crocodile received a Nebula nomination, but it was 1974's The Continuous Catherine Mortenhoe that made his reputation. Eerily predictive of the 21st century's obsessions with media voyeurism and 'reality television', it was filmed as Death Watch in 1980. He lives in Maine, in the United States.
Matt Helm is to captain the last space shuttle carrying passengers to the starship, but his irrepressible desire for Fern Angelus corrupts his sense of duty. He agrees to take part in her time experiments.
Set against a background of passion and longing, Matt's uncanny success with mind projection meets unforseen complications. He projects his mind to a future Earth: a world of shallow, extensive seas, mutated trees growing in layers on each other's branches, and strangely evolved animals like snappersnouts, humpers and energy creatures.
Matt's strange visions eventually meet reality when he discovers that the last load of passengers for the starship has been left behind; and he is one of them.
Professor Trevor Scholes has discovered, isolated and classified every variety of the infection that now bears his name. One variety, B79/K, is so rare that the odds are fifty thousand to one against two compatible carriers meeting.
So of course Giles Cranston and Tamsin McGillivray meet . . .
But now, with Trevor Bladon, his girlfriend's killer, safely banged up for the rest of his natural, it's time for Alex to put it all behind him. Get on with his life. But first he needs to go and sort out a couple of things with Trevor in his cell. He's not sure exactly why, but he goes anyway. And it's not a good idea - he ends up prime suspect in another murder . . .
Their motives were beyond reproach. Their objectives were honourable. It was not their fault that humanity distrusted their motives, repudiated their objectives - and did its best to drive the missionaries back into space . . .