Monday, April 19, 2010



'Regina and her bee-ladies, bored members of the elite, while away the idle hours by playing at conjuring the Devil - a game which leads to horrifying consequences. Alfred Bester's other novels include "Tiger, Tiger", "Extro" and "The Demolished Man". (the back cover)

Taking place in a city of the future, a group of bored wealthy women begin dabbling in ancient satanic rituals, unaware that their rites are actually working. The beast of pure evil, Golem100, is raised each time the group practices their ritual, embarking on a rampage of rape, torture and murder. The demon is tracked through the physical and spirit worlds by Gretchen Nunn, a master of psychodynamics, Blaise Shima, a brilliant and famous chemist, and a clever local police officer, Subadar Ind'dni. (

There were numerous things that compelled me to purchase and read this book- Alfred Bester is a somewhat respected name in the golden age of Science Fiction, the cover prominently displayed a naked woman being attacked by a lizard/insect demon... and it was one dollar.

Unfortunately this ended up being one of the worst books I have read in the genre, which is saying quite a bit. The three main characters- the topless black woman who is a hybrid shrink/mystic, some guy who is a scentologist or something and an Indian detective/philosopher- well, they chatter away like Gilmore Girls for 200 pages of this novel. There are also illustrations of the annoyingly weird journey through the id that they go on, while under the influence of some radioactive isotope drug thing:

Unfortunately the dialogue in between the illustrations does nothing to clarify what is going on. At first I thought maybe I just wasn't getting it, but a quick re-read of a chapter later and it was pretty obvious there was nothing to get.

Golem100 is a murky, nearly incomprehensible book. I really wish I could talk more about the plot, but it rarely made sense. Some eccentric club of idle rich women attempts to summon the devil, but instead they conjure up their sexual urges in demon form. The demon (named Golem100 because its like, evil to the 100th power, man) goes on a boring murderous rampage whenever the 'bee ladies' perform their over the top rituals. At one point they try to summon the devil in BINARY. There is a necrophiliac thrown in at one point just so he can killrape a character in deus ex machina fashion. Yep, and this was all meant to be comedic.

Synopsis: fifty pages of decent action driven sci fi/horror, and then 330 pages of diluted psychobabble and condensed dick jokes. There are some cool moments, but would you sift through shit for a few quarters?

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