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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Jack Dann's Nebula Awardnominated The Man Who Melted (1984) is one of the genre's most underappreciated classics. Written as four interconnected short stories between 1981 and 1983, Dann's haunting vision of a dystopic 22nd-century Earth is appropriately described by Robert Silverberg in the novel's introduction as "a book like no other science fiction novel…the future as nightmare, science fiction as poetic vision."
Equal parts social commentary, apocalyptic thriller, and dark prophecy, the novel stars Raymond Mantle, a psychologically shattered man obsessed with finding his wife (and sister) Josiane, who disappeared during the Great Scream -- a large-scale outbreak of shared insanity that swept the Earth and turned millions into raging, murdering disciples of the collective conscious. Suffering from amnesia when it comes to memories of his wife, Mantle will do anything to find her -- even if it means telepathically plugging into a dying Screamer's memories. But after traveling a world gone insane in search of clues to her whereabouts, what Mantle finds at journey's end just may be enough to trigger another -- and final -- Great Scream…
Since its launch in 2005, the editorial brain trust at Pyr has (among other accomplishments) reissued numerous largely overlooked genre masterworks and breathed new life into them with innovative new cover art, updated introductions, etc. Longtime science fiction fans who enjoy rediscovering truly visionary classics like Dann's The Man Who Melted should also check out Pyr reissues of George Zebrowski's Macrolife and Robert Silverberg's Star of Gypsies. All three novels more than adequately support the curmudgeonly claim that they just don't write 'em like they used to… Paul Goat Allen