The year is 2033 and a man finds himself in Paris. The city is being torn apart by robots in the middle of one of their revolutions. The man has no memories after 1978. Luckily there is a talking vulture that can fill him in on current events. The vulture is cryptic in that he calls our hero Gypsy and he is part of some grand game. He tells Gypsy that he must go to London for answers.
In London the city is suffering from a plague that only kills men. Gypsy rescues a rogue by the name of Walpole from the police so he has a guide. The first stop is an old hospital that Gypsy remembers. At the hospital he finds a group of women under Queen Bess are behind the plague. Using his new found powers of telekinesis and teleportation he defeats their plot to rid Britain of men. The clues he finds in the hospital point to Madrid as his next stop so Gypsy and his new companion Walpole are bound for Spain.
Now Spain in 2033 is in pretty sad shape. Massive earthquakes and war with Portugal have devastated the country. A new religion called the Church of the Blessed Disaster controls the country. The church is fanatically anti-technology and keeps society in the dark ages. Our heroes come upon a public witch burning. The witch to be burned is Annabelle one of the women from London that Gypsy zapped with his teleportation powers. It appears that materializing out of thin air is grounds for witchcraft and being burned at the stake. Luckily for Annabelle Gypsy uses his powers to rescue her. After harrowing adventures the three escape from Madrid for their next destination Gibraltar.
Gibraltar is inhabited by a peaceful settlement of farmers that inhabit the underground complex located there. After battling a robot left to guard the records, Gypsy arrives too late. The vulture has been able to burn most of the documents. What’s left is clues that his next stop is Geneva.
After some more adventures with Moroccan raiders, Gypsy leaves Warpole and Annabelle for Switzerland. Now Geneva was basically destroyed and a new city Villedeux has been rebuilt over the ruins. The city was built by robots who have now taken total control over the humans in the city. The robots tell the inhabitants when to eat, sleep, dress and live.
Gypsy hooks up with the local resistance and with his help overthrow the robots and free the humans. In the process he damages his arm and finds out that it is mechanical. The clues he finds out are that his next destination is Africa.
So ends the first volume of the saga of Gypsy. It was part of a series called Weird Heroes which was an attempt to revive the pulp fiction stories. Gypsy was supposed to be a six part series but unfortunately only two were published. I chose this book as my first review because it was the first book I ever read. I saw it for sale cheap and decided to buy it.
I have to say that the story still holds up after thirty years. There are beautiful illustrations by Alex Nino throughout the book. I like the mystery of a man that finds himself fifty years in the future with no past memory. The world of 2033 is hinted at being destroyed by a combination of wars, revolutions and natural disasters. Its a plausible future that doesn’t feel dated even now. If there is one criticism of the story is that Gypsies abilities made it too easy for him to get out of danger. Still I enjoyed it and decided to buy the second book which will be for another review.