Sunday, January 29, 2017

Review: The Emperor of the Last Days by Ron Goulart

Synopsis: They Held the Fate of Freedom in Their Hands. Dan Farleigh: a pleasant young fellow with a kinky craving for the company of computers. Janis Trummond: a beautiful young woman reporter out to dig up the dirtiest secrets of man’s world. Professor Supermind:  mental master of machines. Tin Lizzie: a gifted if ungainly bionic teenager. Deadend: A Chicago thug whose thoughts were deadly weapons.  No imagination could have conceived this oddly twisted team – and no human imagination had. Their master and mentor used the Bernard Maze. But to friends he was Barney – a computer who decided to take charge before it was too late to save the world from – The Emperor of the Last Days. (from the back of the book)

Review: Ron Goulart is known for both his writing of pulp fiction and his study of it. This is clearly of that genre. With cheeky supercomputers, dastardly men of power, sexy women, teleporters, bionic arms that shot lasers, fractured governments and robots galore, this is the pulpiest of pulp fiction. Humorous, with likable characters and fast-paced action, it’s a fun, easy read. And, given that is was written in 1977, his treatment of gender is done well – the women have intelligence, actives parts, and demonstrate logic and reason. It won’t win any awards, mind you. Goulart has a bad habit of jumping scenes with no warning, which can be disorienting. There are no great morals or explorations of the human condition. But that is what makes it pulp fiction, right? Worth reading, just for fun. 

Bookmarks: 3 of 5

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-03201-4
Year Published: 1977
Date Finished: 1-29-2017
Pages: 189

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