St. Louis Post-Dispatch Review

There's something scary about October.

Maybe it's the gathering darkness as the nights grow longer or maybe it's just the skeleton-like noise of rustling leaves, but October always seems to warrant a good fright. . . .

If you prefer your frights mixed with a bit of science fiction, Mockymen by Ian Watson (Golden Gryphon Press/300 pages/$26.95) is right up your alley. The narrative begins when a young British couple (who are experts at making jigsaw puzzles) is hired by a mysterious Norwegian gentleman for an equally mysterious job. It seems that blood sacrifices were made in a nearby park and those crimes will figure in the aging Norwegian's search for a way to reincarnate himself. Flash forward to 2010, after ecological and economic upheavals on a global scale. Aliens make contact with Earth, promising new technologies that will reverse current hardships. While integrating with the human populace, the aliens take over the incapacitated bodies of drug users on Earth — hooked on "Bliss" — earning them the nickname "mockymen."

Jamie, one of the "Bliss-heads" targeted for alien takeover, begins to remember a former life — when he was a Norwegian. Along with the recovered memories come revelations about the aliens' true plans — they have nothing to do with helping out humans. Watson has concocted a wild and unnerving tale that would make the creators of The X-Files green with envy.

By Ian Watson
Golden Gryphon Press
300 pages, $26.95

— Dorman T. Shindler, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 22, 2003


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