Tag Archives: D Bruce Berry

Genetic Bomb

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Genetic Bomb by Andrew Offutt and D Bruce Berry.

Here’s a short, odd attempt at erotic science fiction from 1975. The protagonist is a successful high-status pimp in the severely libertarian “Freewill” global society of an indeterminate future. Humanity has populated Mars and some other worlds of the inner Solar System. Procreative partnerships are disparaged, and women who bear children are consigned to “mate slavery,” while children are raised in large communitarian creches insulated from interaction with adults. Most of the sexual episodes actually detailed in the book are interracial. There is a tolerant regard for homosexuality, although one passage involves a man’s rape of a lesbian, strangely “justified” by paranormal circumstances and “all’s well that ends well.”

Throughout the book, key characters have telepathic conversations and psychic premonitions and recollections amounting to full hallucinations. These are at first associated with artifacts called “star gems,” but later revealed to be a function of the human “genetic continuum” established by the original fostering of humanity by a survivor of the destroyed fifth planet. All of this is explained with only brief bursts of exposition in the context of a high-action plot involving threatened invasion by tentacular monstrosities from an alien dimension.

The whole book highlights a distinctively 1970s inflection of the neophilically-imagined future and could never be written today. It’s really not an admirable piece of literature, but it is sometimes amusing, and certainly distinctive. [via]