Synopses & Reviews
Louis Sacchetti is a poet and pacifist imprisoned for refusing to enlist in the war against Third World guerillas. After he and the other inmates are used in perverse scientific experiments, Sacchetti is infected with a germ that raises intelligence to incredible heights while causing decay and death.
In this chillingly plausible work of speculative fiction, Thomas M. Disch imagines an alternate 1970s in which America has declared war on the rest of the world and much of its own citizenry and is willing to use any weapon to assure victory. Louis Sacchetti, a poet imprisoned for draft resistance, is delivered to a secret facility called Camp Archimedes, where he is the unwilling witness to the army's conscienceless experiments in intelligence maximization. In the experiment, Prisoners are given Pallidine, a drug derived from the syphilis spirochete, and their mental abilities quickly rise to the level of genius. Unfortunately, a side effect of Pallidine is death."