With the help of Goodreads, we’re giving away a copy of James Morrow’s The Madonna and the Starship, a tale “rife with gonzo charm and buried barbs and offbeat parables galore.”
Only Uncle Wonder can save us from the death beam of…
THE DIABOLICAL LOBSTERS FROM OUTER SPACE!
New York City, 1953. The golden age of television, when most programs were broadcast live. Young Kurt Jastrow, a full-time TV writer and occasional actor, is about to have a close encounter of the apocalyptic kind.
Kurt’s most beloved character (and alter ego) is Uncle Wonder, an eccentric tinkerer whose pyrotechnically spectacular science experiments delight children across the nation. Uncle Wonder also has a more distant following: the inhabitants of Planet Qualimosa. When a pair of his extraterrestrial fans arrives to present him with an award, Kurt is naturally pleased—until it develops that, come next Sunday morning, these same aliens intend to perpetrate a massacre.
Will Kurt and his colleagues manage to convince the Qualimosans that Earth is essentially a secular and rationalist world? Or will the two million devotees of NBC’s most popular religious program suffer unthinkable consequences for their TV-viewing tastes? Stay tuned for The Madonna and the Starship!
[STARRED REVIEW] Jonathan Swift meets Buck Rogers in this hilarious send-up of the golden ages of television and pulp sci-fi. In mid-20th-century New York City, Kurt Jastrow, de facto head writer for NBC’sBrock Barton and His Rocket Rangers, receives a transmission from the planet Qualimosa informing him that he has won the Zorningorg Prize for championing “reason in its eternal war with revelation.” Then the lobster-like extraterrestrials get wind of “Sitting Shiva for Jesus,” an upcoming episode of a Sunday-morning religious program written by Kurt’s love interest Connie Osborne. The crustacean “logical positivists” propose to use their death ray to annihilate the show’s two million devout, “irrational” viewers. Can Kurt and Connie refashion her script into a satirical, sacrilegious screed, forestalling mass slaughter? This delightful romp from Morrow (Shambling Towards Hiroshima) provides the breathless answer in short order; no need to wait for next week to tune in and find out.
“The Madonna and the Starship will have you laughing out loud while you think about what it means to be human.
—Looking For A Good Book
“The story has the tone of a manic tall tale, and is often just as hilarious….”
“Galaxy Quest, eat your heart out.”
“…reminiscent of Kurt Vonnegut and the film Galaxy Quest…. this latest book by the inimitable James Morrow is rife with gonzo charm and buried barbs and offbeat parables galore.”
For more on The Madonna and the Starship, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover and design by Elizabeth Story.