Los Angeles, 1942. Psychoanalyst Maxwell McKinney and his wife Joan await the return of their son after the sinking of the USS Yorktown. With sections of the city under camouflage and ordinances against “enemy aliens,” McKinney is troubled by his ambivalent feelings for his son and fears that California will be invaded by the Japanese. A chance encounter with a man who appears to be his double, a screenwriter named Sid Starr, allows McKinney to confront his guilt. Entwined with McKinney, Starr finds that his own identity is at stake, and between the two, McKinney’s wife and son fight against their own destruction.
Punctuating great American fears, James Reich targets the zones of recent history where worlds and anxieties collide, among them UFOs, the Battle of Midway, Hollywood, psychoanalysis and Japanese internment. Soft Invasions is an existential thriller about cowardice, cruelty and betrayal that invokes David Cronenberg's body-horror classics as well as the cold California glamor of Joan Didion, the ominous noir of Horace McCoy, and the psychic angst of Norman Mailer.
This edition features an afterword by literary and media theorist Laurence A. Rickels.