|Müller-Fokker Effect, the (1971) [Novel]|
by John Sladek
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Though a happily married man, technical writer Bob Shairp is more or less a nonentity until National Arsenamid, in a secret project for the U.S. Army, transfers his digitized consciousness into a mainframe computer and then loses his body. At the same time, Shairp's wife, Marge, is apotheosized as Bette Cooke, squeaky-clean kitchen lust-image of multitudinous TV commercials, and their lonely 12-year-old son Sturgemoore (Spot) is packed off to military school to contemplate official perversity and thoughts of suicide. This dissolution of the American nuclear family parallels the disintegration, as with an alien ray pistol, of American society. A Billy Graham-like evangelist loses his mind and becomes Wise Bream, cryptic spokeman and deity of the luckless Utopi Indian tribe. Glen Dale's Stagman magazine empire flourishes on the frustrated erotic energy of its founder, whose watchful staff never allow him to get laid. When blind Deef John Holler is attacked by a klansman at one of Glen Dale's parties, enthusiastic folklorists rally to witness the lynching of an authentic Blues legend. Meanwhile, Bob Shairp's fragmented, disembodied consciousness, recorded on randomizing Müller-Fokker tape, is coming together in the computer to write the world's first digitized testament, The American Book of the Dead...
Original title: The Müller-Fokker Effect
Quotes: 1 (show them)
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Humor