Cover by Claiborne O'Connor
Trade paper -- 183 pp. $10.00
and Other Survival Stories
HUMANITY AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES
by Harry Willson
With dead aim and withering wit, Willson takes on plutonium, radioactive materials in the sewers, ozone depletion, government plans for the storage of nuclear waste, overpopulation, and more personal follies, like fundamentalism, free will, rituals, and even satire itself. In the title novella, VERMIN, rats, cockroaches and crows debate the use of scarce resources, while wondering what could have become of the humans. The Extermination Game, remarks Ariel, the crow. They were heavily into extermination.
An accomplished storyteller and social essayist, Willson avails himself of a full repertoire of literary techniques to
tease and taunt us into a deeper appreciation for What There Is, All Interconnected. How does humanity fit into The Whole Thing? Are we anything more than a temporary infestation? Willson's sharply cynical humor is tempered by an all-abiding love of life and living.
|Willson is writing about ideas that can't just be digested over lunchbreak cheeseburgers and then forgotten in the scheduled hectic afternoon of 'nomality'|
|--Ben G. Price, ANARCHY|
|Harry Willson's previous novels showed his almost magical optimism about humanity. VERMIN, in contrst, is a group of cautionary tales and fables, some quite realistic, others quite absurd. Willson's dissection of human folly is necessarily painful, but he provides the appropriate general anaesthetic for the operation: a daring sense of humor. Definitely recommended.|
|-- Bill Meyers, editor-in-chief, THE STAKE|
|These are the musings of an agnostic pantheist, who is not above tackling that old philisophical chestnut called, 'free will.' Throughout my reading of these stories and pithy comments, the words of Shakespeare's Puck resurfaced again and again: 'What fools these mortals be!'|
|-- Fred Gillette Sturm, Department of Philosophy, University of New Mexico|
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