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Anti-Man (1970): Dark Matter

Dean Koontz, Anti-Man (Ace, 1970)

[originally posted 17Sep2001]

A hand sporting an eye in its palm covers half a man's face on the book's cover.

Stop! Hammer time.
photo credit: vintagetechnology.info

Koontz’ earlier work is inconsistent, and you’re often taking a crapshoot when picking up one of his pre-horror novels. Anti-Man is one of the better ones, from the perspective of writing style—it flows much more smoothly than many of his earlier works, without the repetition and one-sentence paragraphs that mar the early short stories and novels. The plot’s a doozy, too—a scientist has kidnapped, and is hiding, an android who’s capable of healing the sick and raising the dead, who’s supposed to be dismantled on sight by order of the government (when the world’s overpopulated, after all, why would you WANT to heal the sick and raise the dead?). While the questions discussed and the answers revealed are very much the stuff of well-tread science-fictive paths, the treading is above average, leading almost to glimpses of Koontz’ later brilliance. ***

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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