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» » Journals of the Plague Years
Journals of the Plague Years e-book


Norman Spinrad






New Age & Spirituality

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Spectra; First Edition edition (August 1, 1995)





Journals of the Plague Years e-book

by Norman Spinrad

Norman Richard Spinrad (born September 15, 1940) is an American . Journals of the Plague Years (1995). Greenhouse Summer (1999). He Walked Among Us (2003).

Norman Richard Spinrad (born September 15, 1940) is an American science fiction author, essayist, and critic Contents. Each of his books are unique, and explore avenues of thought and speculation few others have traveled. Sex and power are usually his primary themes". ng drugs often feature prominently in his stories.

In many ways Norman Spinrad's "Journals of the Plague Years" is the most frightening story in this collection-thanks to our public health officials' neglect of the most dangerous disease since the Bubonic Plague. At least the medieval city fathers faced with the Black Death had the excuse of ignorance of disease and germ theory.

Norman Spinrad is the author of over twenty novels, including the acclaimed BUG JACK BARRON. He is a multiple nominee for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for science fiction achievement, an American Book Award Nominee writer, and winner of the Prix Apollo.

It is a science fiction dystopian novella about a sexually transmitted plague. Think AIDS, but more devastating to society. Some of the dystopian fiction I've read seems somewhat hackneyed.

Norman Spinrad (1940 - )Norman Richard Spinrad was born in New York City in 1940. He began publishing science fiction in 1963 and has been an important, if sometimes controversial, figure in the genre ever since. He was a regular contributor to New Worlds magazine and, ironically, the cause of its banning by W H Smith, which objected to the violence and profanity in his serialised novel Bug Jack Barron. Spinrad's work has never shied away from the confrontational, be it casting Hitler as a spiteful pulp novelist or satirising the Church of Scientology.

The Plague's origins were mysterious, but its consequences were all too obvious: quarantined cities, safe-sex machines, Sex Police, the outlawing of old-fashioned love. Books related to Journals of the Plague Years.

Norman Richard Spinrad was born in New York City in 1940.

Sex means death when a virus originating in Africa is unleashed on the world for twenty terrible years, until a cure is finally found.

Select Format: Paperback. Sex means death when a virus originating in Africa is unleashed on the world for twenty terrible years, until a cure is finally found. ISBN13: 9780553373998. Release Date: August 1995.

July 31, 2014 History. Author: Norman Spinrad. Journals of the Plague Years. 1 2 3 4 5. Want to Read. Are you sure you want to remove Journals of the Plague Years from your list? Journals of the Plague Years.

Sex means death when a virus originating in Africa is unleashed on the world for twenty terrible years, until a cure is finally found
Almost 25 years on, some of the premises of this work seem dated. Now people don't die of AIDS as long as they can afford the drugs, but it is still a well written and fast paced work. At least as worth reading as anything with interstellar war or androids.
Spinrad is a bit like Michael Moorcock. Whereas Moorcock started his career with fast-paced, closely plotted and high octane fantasies, Spinrad started off with that kind of science fiction, culminating with the tremendously dark and unforgiving classic, The Men in the Jungle. After considerable success with these works, both starting going off various deep ends, becoming more and more literary and varied in style, genre and general weirdness. Both wound up as multi-million seller international icons, with a batch of major awards/nominations between them. In fact "Journals" was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula as best SF novelette of the year.

The story, which would probably run only 50 or 60 pages with a more typical font, consists of very short paragraphs, reminiscent of the John Dos Passos's USA, or John Brunner's Jagged Orbit or Stand on Zanzibar. Each paragraph is told from the viewpoint of one of the main characters, which include a wacked-out Zombie-like soldier, a brilliant geneticist, a beautiful young nymphomaniac, and a religious zealot politician. All are defined in terms of their involvement with a terrible AIDS-like plague that is devastating the entire world. As the story races ahead, all of these characters converge together to a delightfully melodramatic conclusion.

There is a great deal of sex and violence, but very little world-building, imagery, symbolism or description. One of the reviewers said the story reads pretty much like an outline. I don't think so: it isn't incomplete or sketchy, just very short and unfrilly. I read the whole thing in an hour, and enjoyed it quite a bit. In tone and execution it was a lot like one of the many Zombie books out now, but pretty much all of the action was instrumental to the plot, and the characters, while certainly not complex, were interesting enough to keep the reader involved.
The most basic (and best) science fiction stories are those that take a current condition and extrapolate to the future. Here Spinrad writes of a future threatened by a sexually transmitted disease that started in Africa worked its way through the gay and drug communities and now is at large in the general population. The term "AIDs" is not used at all in the story, only mentioned in the author's afterword. The disease is particularly deadly because as each successful vaccine is found, the virus mutates to a resistant strain almost immediately. Spinrad's story follows 4 characters: A soldier in a military division of the infected (nicknamed The Army of the Living Dead), a fundamentalist Christian politician who heads a new Quarantine Bureau of the government, an infected young girl who tries to bring sexual solace to as many of the infected as she can, and a research scientist looking for the ultimate vaccine. Because the disease requires repeated vaccines to counteract the many mutations, the drug companies don't want this "SuperVaccine" found. Starting with these vastly different characters, Spinrad spins a web of intrigue until the story culminates in the quarantined San Francisco. The story is tense and exciting. All the characters grow, for example, the girl becomes almost a religious icon to the infected. All of this is set in a world where sex is done through machines and various interfaces to protect the quickly diminishing ranks of the uninfected. This is an excellent SF tale with an adult theme and frightening settings.
Don't bother tracking this one down... it's a politically correct fantasy about the AIDS epidemic, complete with equal opportunity victims and a melodramatic happy ending. The cure is being hidden from the people, typical politically correct hollywood style ... cliches. Sure, this is a sensitive topic, so sensitive, few would dare do other than to pat Spinrad on the back. The book is intentionally an unrealistic depiction of the disease, a melodramatic fantasy.
The novella(?) is also pretty uneven, since it is basically a rough draft. Older Spinrad is better.

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