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July 25th, 2008, 02:15 PM
I asked about this book in the main sci fi forum a while back and thought it would be a good idea to repost it with modifications here. Sorry for the repeat... and for the long post...

The book I am trying to remember I read in the early eighties; it was fairly obscure and was written by someone who I don't think is well known.

Set many hundred years after some apocalypse, all the action takes place on the east coast of the former U.S. There are domed cities where people with all the technology seal themselves off completely from the outside world. They have technologically super enhanced lifespans (some are 900 years old) and are so bored they do research into obscure things b/c they have already tried everything else: they don't bother with relationships, etc.

Back story: One woman decides to leave the dome to see what's out in the world. She spends time with the people living outside the cities; they live in tribes and have some sort of low level psychic communion with nature and each other. They are somewhat innocent and have no technology. The woman has a kid who becomes the major character because of his major psychic talent. She dies of disease and old age because she isn't allowed to return to the domed city and infect others.

One day the son of the woman, who was out journeying, returns to the village. Plague has been showing up at times so he and a few of his friends decide to travel to a village of mean christian religious fundies to find out what's up. There is a confrontation and one of the pagans, a woman, is set up and executed for having sinful corrupting free love with one of the fundie men.

The pagans are forced to escape the fundies. Main Character gets away, becomes trapped in a closet in an ancient city (D.C. I think) while hungry rats are forced out by water flooding the sewers, and survives the ordeal. The next day he finds a fundie priest injecting rats with something, invades the priest's mind with his major psychic talent, giving him images of Jesus coming to talk him. The priest reveals a nasty plot. This may be the best scene in the book.

It turns out that the fundies want to cleanse the earth of the happy hippie pagan nature loving tribes by injecting rats with plague and flooding the remains of the ancient city to force the rats out and spread plague to their villages.

Main Character then goes back to the pagan hippie villagers and helps organize a group to sneak back and kill all the dangerous fundies in their sleep, causing the pagans to loose some of their innocence. In the mean time a ground battle is fought between the two groups. There is a map at the beginning of the book that describes "Callan's peel and fade," the tactic that wins the battle. Obviously Callan is one of the major pagan characters.

Does this ring any bells? Why am I so obsessed with this?


December 1st, 2008, 07:42 PM
Hah, victory, I finally found the name of the book; in case anybody is interested, it is:

Masters Of Solitude
by Marvin Kaye and Parke Godwin.