Bug Jack Barron

Bug Jack Barron by Norman Spinrad
Doubleday, 1983
Originally serialized in New Worlds, 1967-1968
Price I paid: $7

“Bugged…Then go bug Jack Barron!” cries the vidphone announcer every Wednesday night to the more than 100 million viewers watching Barron’s call-in show. And bug him they do. If there’s a gripe to air, an injustice to rectify, a cause to consider, Jack Barron will listen to it—if you can get through his gauntlet of screeners—and straight to the top, then and there, on the air. Whether it be a business bigwig or the President himself, no one is “out” when Jack Barron calls. Not with the entire nation watching. And no one is safe when Jack gets really bugged…

But the powers-that-be know they have nothing to really fear from Jack Barron. Jack used to be a hothead radical leader back in the sixties, but he gave up the poverty-stricken life of the activist to enter show biz. Now, as the country’s biggest celebrity, Jack’s not about to blow his goldmine job by skewering some biggie on the air. He may slip in a few well-placed barbs, but he’ll always make time for a convincing rebuttal from the other side.

Until one night Jack runs a show on multi-billionaire Benedict Howards’ Foundation for Human Immortality, a privately owned cryogenic “freeze now, live later” project—a show that might endanger the Foundation’s chance at a federally-sanctioned monopoly. Howards is no man to cross. One of the richest and most powerful men in America, he is ruthless in getting what—and whom—he wants. And now he wants Jack Barron.

Much to Jack’s surprise, Howards tries to buy him off when he could more easily have crushed his career. Suspicious, Jack finds his long-suppressed activist instincts aroused. Soon he uncovers hints of sinister activities by the Foundation—missing children, unexplained deaths—and when Howards tries to use Jack’s continuing love for his ex-wife, Sara, to get at him, the billionaire finds he’s taken on more than he bargained for. This is no vidphone entertainer worried about his job. This is the old firebrand Jack Barron. And when Jack Barron’s bugged, heads roll.

Warning: Sexual content and language may be offensive to some readers.

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Killerbowl

KillerbowlKillerbowl by Gary K. Wolf
Self-published Kindle edition, 2017
Originally published by Doubleday, 1975
Price I paid: $2.99

Thirty years in the future, the ultraviolent sport of Professional Street Football, a phenomenally popular 24-four-hour-long athletic event, combines pro football with mixed martial arts and armed combat. On New Years day, quarterback T.K. Mann plays the most dangerous game of his life, the game known as Killerbowl!

(Synopsis from Goodreads)

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Clone

Clone by Richard Cowper
Pocket Books, 1979
Price I paid: 90¢

Spawned in a dangerous 21st-century experiment, they were brought into a world where educated apes did manual labor and the government encouraged suicide as a method of population control.

Their existence as clones was unknown to anyone―even to each other―known only to their creator.

But then came the strange, haunting visions, the peculiar psychic sensations that drew them closer and closer together―revealing once and for all the mysterious secret they shared that would change the world!

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Sorcerer’s World

Sorcerer's WorldSorcerer’s World by Damien Broderick
Signet Science Fiction, 1970
Price I paid: $1.25

Klim Xaraf, son of a nomadic chief, awoke from his monumental fall to find himself the prisoner of time―trapped a thousand million years in the future.

Around him was a dying world, its incredible power sucked by necromancers through a hole to the past…it’s cities preserved in stasis, awaiting his liberation, or their final doom.

Yet Klim could neither meet his world’s challenge, nor conquer the wizards of his own, until The Powers primed him for the battle. For with their knowledge, they would erase his memory and plunge him into a nightmare training ground…where all the wonders of tomorrow were the forgotten souvenirs of an ancient yesterday.

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Bill, the Galactic Hero

Bill, the Galactic HeroBill, the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison
Avon Books, 1979
Originally published by Doubleday, 1965
Price I paid: 90¢

He was just plain Bill, enrolled in a correspondence course for a career as Technical Fertilizer Operator down on the farm, until a recruiting robot turned his head with visions of bright nebula lights, snappy red uniforms―and a cup of deep-space knockout drops…and Bill suddenly found himself aboard the Empire Space Ship Christine Keeler, fighting the Empire’s war against the lizard-like Chingers.

But an act of accidental heroism won him the Purple Dart (and an all-expenses-paid trip to fabulous Helior, the aluminum-plated Sin City of the Empire_―and that’s when Bill’s adventure’s really began…

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Of Men and Monsters

Of Men and MonstersOf Men and Monsters by William Tenn
Ballantine Books, 1968
Price I paid: 90¢

Eric the Only was anxious to become a man…eager to perform his initiation Theft from the Monster World and be accepted by the elders of his small tribe.

Then the women would notice him…and one woman in particular might begin to take him seriously.

He had learned well the rules of stealing. He had long anticipated his just rewards. He had carefully plotted and schemed. He had minimized all the risks.

But though Eric understood the merciless ways of the Monsters who had long ago driven his people into the wretched burrows, he could not anticipate the treachery of men.

Suddenly―without warning―the best laid plans of Eric the Only went violently astray.

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Hijack

hijack
Image credit: isfdb.org

Hijack by Edward Wellen
Beagle Books, 1971
Price I paid: none

 

Big deal at Cape Canaveral. Nobody knew what it was, but it was big―and college-trained Nick Tallant drew the assignment of finding out what was in it for the Mafia. He gathered in all the information he had, put a statistical genius to work on it, and got the answer…the end of the world. But Nick was an angle player―and he knew there must be one somewhere, if only he could find it in time…

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The Müller-Fokker Effect

the-muller-fokker-effectThe Müller-Fokker Effect by John Sladek
Pocket Books, 1973
(Originally published by Hutchinson, 1970)
Price I paid: 90¢

Can a human being be reconstituted like orange juice?

To find out, the Army backs a futuristic research project that transfers a man’s personality onto computer tapes. Guinea pig for the experiment is technical writer and dreamer Bob Shairp.

But the project barely gets off the ground when a computer accident wipes out Shairp’s mortal body and only his tapes remain. Is Shairp doomed to this encoded state forever? Or can the bizarre process be reversed?

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The Rakehells of Heaven

The Rakehells of Heaven by John BoydThe Rakehells of Heaven
Penguin Books, 1969
Price I paid: 90¢

John Adams and Kevin O’Hara are graduates of North Dakota’s great Mandan Space Academy. Both trained to be conquistadors of space, explorers in an age of interstellar imperialism, Adams and O’Hara are as different as any two space scouts could possibly be. Now, together, they are sent to explore a distant world called Harlech. The Harlechians are unclassified aliens; relations with their women are strictly forbidden by the Interplanetary Colonial Authority. Adams is willing to play by the rules—but whoever made those rules hadn’t counted on the lusty Red O’Hara, rakehell of heaven…From the Adams-O’Hara probe, only John Adams returns.

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