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He Walked Among Usby Norman Spinrad
Synopses & Reviews
Why was HE WALKED AMONG US, described as the Magnum Opus of one of the best-known science fiction writers of the age, first published in German rather than Eng-lish? Why is its first English language edition electronic? What do conventional American publishers find so dangerous about this novel? Is it a science fiction novel or a comic novel about show business? Is Ralf, the comedian from the future, just doing schtick, or is he what he claims to be, an emissary sent back from a terminal future to save the human race from its own stupidity through laughter? Or could he even be something more? Maybe much more? In fact, HE WALKED AMONG US is also a metaphysical novel about mind and time and space, and, given enough of all three, surely there will be more things therein than are dreamt of in our philosophies. Or not. For HE WALKED AMONG US has been called the first meta science fiction novel, a novel about our collective mediated dreamtime and its creators, about the interplay of what we call science and what we call fantasy and what we call entertainment, of the realities of show biz, New Age mysticism and science fiction writers, publishers, and fans. And how that dreamtime calls into being what we call the real world.
Ralf, a comedian from the future, claims to be an emissary sent back from a terminal future to save the human race from its own stupidity through laughter. Could he be something more?
When hack agent Jimmy “Tex” Balaban discovers Ralf on a Borscht Belt stage, his act appears to be a clever joke. Ralf claims to be from the future, shouting foul-mouthed prophecies of where we went wrong. And he delivers a harrowing message.
The world is in chaos. Our biosphere has been devastated, our air is unbreathable and the final stalwarts of mankind have taken refuge in pressurized shopping malls. Humanity clings to the last mediocre vestiges of life on a dead planet that we did not know how to save. But it might not be too late. Has Ralf returned to the past to awaken our consciences? Is he who he says he is or is he insane? And if we have one last chance to save the world, does any of this matter?
Then Dexter D. Lampkin, a fading science fiction writer, and Amanda Robin, a New Age guru-wannabe, magnificently transform Ralf into what the world really needs: a messenger sent from the future to save us from ourselves. Together with Tex they polish Ralfs television persona to captivate America. The problem is that Ralf never goes out of character. He truly believes he is a prophet.
About the Author
NORMAN SPINRAD is a science fiction icon and the author of more than twenty novels which have been translated into over a dozen languages. His 1969 novel, Bug Jack Barron, was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula Awards and his short fiction collection, The Star-Spangled Future, was a National Book Award finalist. He has also written screenplays for American television series, including the original Star Trek. He lives in New York.
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