Copyright 1991.

Rock and his team are assaulting Killov’s renegade KGB forces in Arizona. He defeats them but finds out Killov was not among them. Instead he and his forces have set up base at Machu Pichu in Peru. Things are happening that require Rock’s immediate attention. Astronomers have detected an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Unless its diverted it will crash into the Earth and end all life. The answer is detonating a nuclear bomb to deflect it. So first Rock has to battle the democratic council of Century City which doesn’t want to break the new peace treaty with the Soviets. So Rock and his team must sneak out a bomb and head toward the only possible site where an old NASA ship is located.

They get there and find the rocket is guarded by the Millies. An amazon tribe that has mutated with some cat DNA. To use the ship Rock and his men must sleep with five of the women each. Well naturally it is something they manage to do but unfortunately the rocket is not in working shape. But luckily the Glowers have a flying saucer that they give to Rock. So they go into space and meet up with the Astro Frenchies and Rock hangs around for some more sex and gets the saucer outfitted with an old cannon. This comes in handy because Killov is also coming in his own rocket. He wants the advanced weapons that are supposed to be stored on the asteroid Karrak by an ancient race now long dead.

There is a fight and Killov crashes but survives. He finds an ancient alien artifact which give him godlike power. He turns himself into Mu-Temm a big warrior but Rockson manages to defeat him. At the end as Killov is about to destroy the Earth Rockson strangles him and saves the planet. So the team leaves after saving Earth. It ends with some weird epilogue that makes no sense whatsoever. It is about the asteroid Karrak which is now inhabited and some weird woman and man.

So the series comes to an end. A very weird and psychedelic ending that I would have never guessed at when the series started. I think it was obvious the series was on it’s deathbed. When it came out in July of 1991 the Soviet Union was in it’s last year. Soon many of these series would die out to the changing times. I am happy that the series was able to go out with some closure. America was a free nation and Killov was finally killed. While the quality drastically declined in the later books this was on the whole a fun series I enjoyed growing up with. I believe it is fondly remembered by those who loved the post-apocalypse series from the eighties. It survived and when on after the hypothetical date of the nuclear attack of September 11, 1989 and almost made it to the Soviet Union’s demise.

So throughout that whole time we were treated to invading Soviets, KGB deathshirts, cannibal mutants, giant spiders, giant octopus, sex-crazed amazon tribes of French-Canadians, cat mutant women and green-skinned women. Rock fought Soviet Nazis (I never got that), Space Nazis (That I got),Egyptian death cults, Arab terrorists, fascists, cannibal Sasquatch, kooky survivalist communities, giant crystals, space lasers and vampyres. His sex life made Hugh Hefner look like a trappist monk. I know those viagra commercials warn to seek help after an erection over four hours but Rockson must have had some special mutant powers. I remember once that his mutant eyes could look directly at the sun without burning out so I suppose a never ending erection is probably OK. I miss this kooky series. Sadly both authors Jan Stacy and Ryder Syvertsen are no longer with us. May they rest in piece knowing the joy they brought to many young teen men.



Copyright 1990.

The Soviets have signed a peace treaty with America and have withdrawn their troops. So the Rock team has gone on to other pursuits. Archer decided to go back to the wilderness. Recently Rockson received a fax? from him in an isolated place in Utah that he needs help. So Rockson takes an old Soviet fighter and flies out to help. The old plane crashes into a valley inhabited by giant mutant spiders. Rock manages to escape and make it to Archer’s position. He finds his old chum living in an abandoned bowling alley drinking hundred year old Blatz beer. He was attacked by a group of twenty bandits but let them get into his supply of old scotch and get drunk. Then he easily took them out when they were drunk. So he’s no longer in danger but happy his friend has come to visit.

Archer does have a visitor. Zydeco Realness is a member of the Techno-survivors. They were a mutant group of former missile technicians who live in Cavetown. Zydeco has a gift for the famous Doomsday Warrior. It is called the Dream Machine and can put people into a virtual reality simulation. Rock isn’t all that interested but to refuse the gift would diss the Techno-survivors and they might retaliate by launching a nuke on Century City. So Rock agrees to get the gift but first they must have sex with some visiting green-skinned amazons from the Barbarah tribe that stop in.

So they go to Cavetown riding mutant giant Guam rail birds. There he gets to try out the dream machine. He finds himself as Niles Rockson a rich playboy in New York who is with the lovely Kimetta. While in the machine Zhabnov the ex-Russian president of the USSA attacks Cavetown with his renegade soldiers. He takes the survivors as slaves and is elated that his sworn enemy Rockson is trapped in the machine. He forces the technicians to change the program to something unpleasant then leaves. Now Rockson finds himself in a swamp on Venus. His girlfriend Kimetta has turned him in for being a playboy which was a law just passed. It is a retroactive law so Rock is sent off to the penal colony on the asteroid Esmeralda.

So Rock is sentenced to fight the dreaded Zrano in an arena. Luckily Kimetta is also along and the daughter of the warden. She smuggles him a locket with a picture of the Zrano’s mother. This causes the beast to not attack Rock and he wins. So he claims his freedom but has to stay until the shuttle arrives. Until then he must work which Rock has no interest in. They show him all the fun jobs which he refuses. So they are going to execute him because he isn’t working. So he comes up with the one thing he can do. While on Esmeralda he has been frequenting the prostitutes and is so good they are paying him. So he convinces the warden he should make instructional videos on giving good sex so everyone will be more productive. Well along the way there is a revolution and Rock escapes the asteroid and awakens in Cavetown. Archer and Zydeco with the other Techno-survivors escaped Zhabnovtown and rescued Rock. He is in serious bad shape so Rock sends out a telepathic call to this friend Turquoise Spectrum the leader of the Glowers. They come and bring him back to their village and heal him.

Wow is this book a trainwreck. Now a trainwreck can be interesting if not always pleasant to look at. So now the Soviets are out and America is free although there are still renegade Soviet soldiers still handing about notably those who follow ex-president Zhabnov and KGB Colonel Killov. The Techno-survivors are an offshoot of the Technicians from the first book. The Barbarah’s were also in the second book but were cannibals and here they are green skinned. Archer seems to be a bit different. He uses a shotgun instead of his crossbow. He also can not speak in complete sentences and use a fax machine. He was so dense that he would have trouble figuring out a doorknob.And where the hell do you find a working fax machine in the middle of post-apocalypse Utah. I doubt you could have found one in 1990 Utah.

I wonder if Ryder was on drugs when he wrote this. It has a very surreal quality to this goofy sci-fi space opera type story. It was obvious that the series was running out of steam with this entry. He was trying something new but it is just one wacko story.



Copyright 1990.

Century City is hit by an earthquake. Rockson finds himself buried in his apartment. Giant mutant rats come out and he has to defend himself. Fortunately his friends arrive with mutant cats that take care of the rats. Now the city has serious earthquake damage. There is heavy equipment in Pattonville that could help so Rock and his team lead an expedition to the free city. Along the way they come upon a tropical jungle filled with monkeys and snakes. They are captured by a tribe that controls the snakes. The Ringling tribe is descended from the circus of Ringling Brothers and their king Bailey decides to feed them to a giant snake. Luckily Rock manages to defeat the snake and escape but not before feeding King Bailey to the crocodiles.

So they continue on and get lost in a sandstorm. They come upon a giant arena that is inhabited by the Caucus. They were descended from the Republam party caucus that was occurring when the war took place. So they have lived there over one hundred years living off the vast stores of food stored underground. They also hooked up their generator to an underground volcano to generate electricity. They developed a strange cult that worships Nixon and continues to devote their lives to studying and carrying out the rules and regulations of the Caucus. Oh and they also apparently pump mind control gas and drug the food to keep everybody in line.

So it is not too long before Rock and company are mindless drones wearing the straw hats and happily studying and implementing the convention rules. One day Rock trips and falls rolling under the bed. Miraculously he falls against and air duct that exposes him to fresh air. He gets out of the mind control hold and then rescues his friends and takes down the Caucus.

This was a weird one. Now all were weird ones but this seems to be an aimless weird one. The Ringling tribe was the creepiest tribe they ever run into. They use snakes for fishing by dunking them into the water so they can fang the fish. Now who would want to eat a fish after that? The real dud was the Caucus. I suppose the author was trying for some sly political satire but it just falls flat. They mindlessly have been doing bureaucratic paperwork for a century. Not really an awe inspiring threat. In fact the whole book consists of them just aimlessly wandering and didn’t seem to have any purpose. The convenient way that Rock managed to break free of the mind control gas. Actually the author uses mind control gas in the last book. A lot of lazy writing going on. The author clearly was just quickly plunking out stuff for a paycheck and the series is in rapid decline. The most forgettable book in the series.



Copyright 1989.

Pattonville an American free city has had a military coup. General Hanover has seized power and has a megalomaniacal plan to take over the whole country. He has used a gas that turns people into mindless zombies. This is how he maintains control over the populace. He starts to use the gas on other free cities. He also has managed to take prisoner the President of the U.S. and his daughter Kim. When Rockson hears this he sets out with his team to stop him. Along the way an earthquake traps the team in an underground world with lava people. The king Sulphur of the lava people wants to kill the intruders but luckily the lava woman has other plans. Seems the lava men are descended from miners trapped after the nuclear war. The second generation was mutated into stone lava people. The men are sterile and Shisa the beautiful lava woman wants a child. So naturally its up to Rockson to be the baby daddy. They then escape and Rockson finds out his men don’t remember a thing and maybe it was all a dream.

So they reach Pattonville and find it under the iron grip of General Hanover. They link up with the underground and manage to pump a gas that counters the effect of the zombie gas. Rock and his men break in on the forced wedding between Hanover and Kim. The newly freed citizens defeat the general’s soldiers and Hanover falls into a vat of gas. They leave with the city once again free.

So this series reached a milestone. Coming out in August 1989 it had reached the set date of 9/11/89 which was the date the war started. So it was no longer speculative but alternate fiction. Probably were surprised the series lasted so long to go on beyond their set date. Unfortunately one of the authors Jan Stacy was not so lucky to witness this date. He died that year from AIDS and left his writing partner Ryder Syvertsen to soldier on alone. This book has him listed in the copyright but they still continued to use the pen name established.

So how was his first solo book. It pretty much kept up the standard of goofyness that was established for this series. An OK book but it was obvious the series was past its prime and in decline. He wisely decided not to use Killov for every book. Just like using Moriarty or the Master can be overdone. You want to use your main villain infrequently to not overdue it. Hanover seems a fairly incompetent leader. His gas is mislabeled and half the free cities he attacks dies because they used the lethal gas and not the knockout gas. He seems too full of himself to care. Also this city was founded from some underground army machine shops yet it has a real Van Gogh the Potato Eaters, a Vergun Grandfather clock and Ming vase in the museum. You have to wonder how this out of the way place could get such objects. Further books would descend progressively into incoherence as we will see in future reviews.



Copyright 1989

Killov has survived the destruction of the Nazi space station and escaped to Egypt. By sheer chance he parachutes in front of the leader of an Egyptian cult. They think he is a god and give him the ancient device used to build the Pyramids. The Qu’ul stick can lift any heavy object which is how the ancients build the pyramids. Killov destroys the Sphinx in testing it out but finally learns how to use it. So the next thing he does is gather his cult army and start to conquer North Africa. He lifts up whole mountains and drops them on villages. Soon he has southern Egypt, the Sudan, Chad and Libya under his control. The Soviets have too much internal problems to send any troops to stop him. So Ruwanda Rahallah goes and calls Rockson to come join him.

Ted Rockson the Doomsday Warrior immediately sets out with three friends to Egypt. They hijack a Soviet jet fighter which Rock knows how to pilot from reading the manual and off they go. When they get to Egypt they link up with Rahallah’s allies. A faction of Egyptians that were testing laser weapons with the American army when the war broke out. They hid in the old tombs and adopted the ancient Egyptian culture. Lead by Tutankhamen they ride elephants with laser guns implanted in their trunks. Still they are no match for Killov’s gravity sticks. An old man knows the secret of the one weapon that can make the Qu’ul sticks powerless and him, Rockson and Rahallah go to the Pyramids to get the Ra sticks in a secret chamber. Only Killov is waiting and sets a trap. He gets the Ra sticks and Rockson and Rahallah barely escape with their lives. Fortunately Rock has a plan and lures Killov and his army to the Aswan Dam where the laser elephants blow the dam and drown Killov’s army. Killov like a cockroach manages to survive to cause trouble another day.

Well the last book did promise some action in Egypt and it delivered. Seems that part of the world is as goofy as America has become. By now the Soviet empire is in complete collapse. Which in a sense mirrored current day events at the time. Rahallah the African prince manservant of the Soviet Premier is apparently an Oxford trained doctor. He fuses ancient African tribal witchcraft with modern medicine. So basically he strips down to his leopard loincloth and does his dance. Then gets busy with the laser scalpel. Interesting to finds out Oxford is still around and teaching some very weird alternative medicine. Rockson of course takes over the whole operation because he is the only competent awesome guy around. Thankfully the most beautiful of the Egyptian women falls in love with him so he doesn’t have to go without sex during his visit. This guy is one chick magnet. Starting with this book I can’t really remember what the books were about in this series. I know I bought them and read them but drawing a blank to what they were about. Which is good since its like reading them for the first time.

I am also finding that there is a reason they are so forgettable. The series was starting to go into decline. This book was interesting with its ancient alien artifacts and goofy Egyptian culture. I think the idea well was running dry as further books will attest to.



Copyright 1988.

Astronomers in Century City have noticed something unusual. An old American space station has suddenly become active. The station was one of America’s star wars defense stations that was being built. Now it is being completed and there is worry about who could be reactivating this potentially powerful weapon. So as usual they decide to send Ted Rockson the Doomsday Warrior up to investigate. Fortunately they know of an old space shuttle that could still work. The Dynasoar is located in an old air force base in Montana now occupied by a vicious warlord. So Rock assembles his team and some other technical experts including two whiz kid teens.

On the way they almost get killed by an avalanche. They come on an old pre-war diner called U-ETE-HERE. It seems inviting enough and the team decides to stop for dinner. Only the diner is run by Vampyres a race of mutant women that need blood to survive. The food is drugged and the team is destined to be bled dry by the fiends. Chen manages to use his ninja skills to escape and the team make short work of the Vampyres.

So they have no problem sneaking into the underground base and find the Dynasoar in perfect condition after 100 years ready to take off. Who would have guessed the low bid contractors would build such a sturdy ship. They blast off into orbit. There they find the Astro Frenchies. They were French astronauts who were up in space to build a giant Eiffel Tower for the two hundredth anniversary of the revolution. Apparently they survived by finding a way to convert metal into edible protein.

So they find out that their enemy is rebuilding the space station. A group of Space Nazis. The Space Nazis are descended from a NASA Nazis scientist who with five followers blasted off into orbit and somehow not only survived but now number in the hundreds. Talk about a swallow gene pool. Indeed Fuhrer Glock is not the brightest bulb for his Space Nazis are taken over by none other than Killov. Soon Killov plans to use the station to rule the world. Fortunately Rock teams up with the Astro Frenchies to ram the Eiffel Tower they built into the station. Killov somehow manages to get into a space suit and reenter orbit. He parachutes into Egypt where a cult thinks he is a god descending from the heavens.

OK so the last book hinted the next would take place in outer space and the authors delivered. Once again they bring back Nazis only these are Space Nazis. Now this I can find believable. I mean lets face it they are up there. On the moon and lurking around in their rockets. The Astro Frenchies I suppose are also a suppose plausible. I could see the French building an Eiffel Tower in space if their space program was advanced enough at the time. Not really sure about stuff like them using plastic garbage bags for suits and aquariums and TV sets as helmets. Not a NASA scientist but somehow I don’t really see that stuff as being protection from the vacuum of space. He also really didn’t need to bother bringing his team along because they didn’t do anything except breath up the air supply.

So another goofier story than the last ends. Killov is still alive and they now hint at further adventures in Egypt.



Copyright 1988.

Rockson and his team arrive in California to respond to a call from a Freefighter group. The Surfcombers the most western group reports that Killov is once again causing trouble. So they arrive and have to fight off a tribe of neanderthal type mutants. The Surfcombers arrive on surfboards with flaming tridents to drive them off. This particular group are descended from the blonde stoner types that survived the war and formed their own society. One of the members tells how he traveled to the island of Rarapani. Formerly Johnson island the natives have lived in peace and isolation since the war. It was destroyed when Killov and his KGB troops invaded and took away their god Gnaa. Gnaa was a giant crystal that Killov has plans to turn into a weapon.

So with the help of the Surfcombers they mount an expedition in two boats Muscle Beach and Surf City. They encounter fierce storms and a sea of mutant seaweed that has captured hundreds of ships. Fortunately they manage to finds explosives on the old USS Nimitz and free themselves. They manage to reach Rarapani and the natives are most welcoming. The women are very friendly but unfortunately for Rock the woman he gets involved with has to remain a virgin because she serves their crystal god Gnaa. So he is the only one not getting any sex.

So the crystal was actually a secret weapon developed by the U.S. government. It would shoot a laser beam to a satellite mirror in space and be aimed at any place on the surface. Killov has taken over the island of Little Tokyo. An island that the survivors of the sinking of Japan escaped to and rebuild a smaller copy of Tokyo. Killov needs the Tokyo tower to focus his new weapon.

Anyway Rock manages to get help from his virginal girlfriend and the chief but has to force Archer to marry his big-boned daughter. Then the expedition sets out for Little Tokyo. They team up with the local resistance the Bushido. They assault the KGB held tower and destroy the crystal but this causes the volcano to erupt and sink the island. Fortunately Leilani and her people will take in the survivors. Also fortunately with the crystal destroyed Leilani is no longer obligated to be a virgin. Unfortunately Killov survives by being rescued by a mysterious group that has taken him into outer space.

Well this book was a fun goofy little ride. The gang travel to the Pacific and battle Killov in a replica of Old Tokyo. I wonder where Killov gets all these KGB troops. Even Rockson ponders that. Is there some sort of agency you can call for KGB troops in the future. A question that remains unanswered. Not a nice guy to work for. I mean he makes his men work in a hurricane on the roof and they get blown off. Somehow good benefits just don’t seem worth it.

A big development is that Killov gets a friend. Nakashima who worships death enthusiastically agrees to help Killov. So smitten with Killov he asks if Killov would kill him whenever he wanted to. This touching gesture moves Killov and they develop a real bromance. Nobody ever wanted to be killed by Killov unless getting tortured. Seems the only one who loved him was is mother before he killed her. Sadly for Nakashima his wishes aren’t fulfilled as Rockson manages to kill the guy. Rock gets arrested and send to the local mental ward where the doctors wonder if he was doing this aggression out of how sexually inadequate the tower made him. If they knew Rock its the tower that would feel sexually inadequate.

So this motley band armed with war clubs, flaming tridents and samurai swords manage to take on troops with tanks and machine guns and win. Totally believable. The ending hints that the next book will take place in space. And why not? Seems the only logical place to take this series is into outer space.



Copyright 1987.

The Russians are broadcasting a message from Premier Vassily. He wants to hold a peace conference in Washington. The council of Century City debates whether to send a delegation. It narrowly is defeated but Rockson decides to check it out anyway. So with his Rock squad sets out for Washington. In Kansas they meet a small village inhabited by an Amish type people called the Clavendish. They are friendly and offer Rock and his team their hospitality and give them a feast of corn. Seems the Clavendish worship corn and have a corn god idol. They have cornbread, corn pie, corn flakes, corn sauce, corn pudding, corn juice.(Didn’t know you could make juice out of corn.) These people love their corn and also need sacrifices to their corn god. I suppose you can forgive them for not seeing right away that nothing good can come from corn worshippers since they don’t have access to horror movies. So they are drugged but luckily Archer manages to be too big for the drugs to take effect. So they escape and blow up the corn god statue.

Later in Illinois they hijack a truck that has chemical weapons signs so they have no problem making it the Washington without being stopped. There they attend the conference and find out Vassily is very serious about peace. He offers to end slavery and hold free elections. It looks as if peace may be a reality. At the ceremony on the Soviet battlecruiser/aircraft carrier Dreadnaught it is interrupted by a savage attack. Killov has recruited Arab terrorists under Dhul Quarnain to attack. With helicopters from an oil tanker they take over the powerful warship. Now with nuclear weapons Killov demands that all power is turned over to him or he’ll start launching the missiles. Rock and his Freefighters must join forces with Vassily’s elite guard to stop Killov’s mad plan to take over the world.

So in 1987 glasnost was the big rage. Apparently the authors jumped on the bandwagon to have a sort of detente with the Soviets. Indeed from this book the series has the Russians for the most part out of the picture. It would be just the evil Killov and his mad schemes or some other kooky madman. The times were a changing. So in this one the Russians and Americans join forces against some muslim terrorists that Killov is using. Some interesting facts are that the terrorists are fighting to free occupied Palestine which suggests that Israel still exists. Or someone else is occupying the land. Rahallah the African prince wears a leopard loincloth under his tuxedo because you know he’s African. Oh and the authors must have something against Kansas. At the beginning Rona one of Rock’s girlfriends is wearing a t-shirt that says “I saw Kansas and it sucks.” After the encounter with the corn worshipping Amish they comment that they are glad to be leaving Kansas. I have never been to Kansas but will say it does seem a dull place that is not high on my lists to visit.

So the format might be changing a bit but it still has the basic goofy premise. Weird communities and mutant creatures. The pill popping Killov and his mad schemes to conquer and destroy the Earth. Killov does survive and will be back.



Copyright 1987.

It is New Years Eve and Ted Rockson is celebrating like everyone else in Century City. Things are looking good. The Russians are in disarray and hopes are high they will soon be driven out. His celebration is interrupted by the arrival of a man. Peth Danik was found wandering alone and about to be eaten by a snow leopard when he was saved. He tells a story of coming from a survivalist community named Eden down in Mexico. Before the war a billionaire named Renquist build it to survive the coming nuclear war. He never made it out of Austin in time but his followers survived. It is an underground enclosed ecology with its own artificial sun and salt water lake to simulate the ocean. Only problem is the place can’t grow any food and after 100 years is running out of the canned and packaged food that was stockpiled. Seems these eccentric rich guys are always building the survivalist communities with goofy people. A bit depressing for the future. Anyway Danik was from a faction that wanted to return to the surface. The other faction lead by Stafford staged a coup and took over.

Stafford is a complete nutjob. He has a paranoid fear of the surface and wants to keep the inhabitants imprisoned in Eden forever. His idea for feeding them is to reprocess the centuries worth of human excrement that has accumulated in their dumping ground. But don’t worry for he will use the flies that are scooped up with it for flavoring and nobody will know the difference from real food.

As horrible as feeding shit is to people the real danger is Stafford has a deadly biological germ called Factor Q. He plans to release it on the surface and kill all life. So Rock and his team have to make the trek down to Eden and stop him. They start out with sled dogs and fight the mutant groundhogs and acid snowstorms to a friendly Indian village in Arizona. There they trade the dog teams for Harleys and continue on with the chief.

They make it the Eden and are ambushed by the inhabitants of Death City. This is a cult from some in Eden that was formed to worship the founder Renquist. They capture Rona who they believe to be Renquist’s wife Sandra. They plan to impregnated her with Renquist’s sperm but first have to whip her ass because the chances of bearing a male child increase with pain. Fortunately Rock and company arrive to save her. They must battle the Whisperers who use mental images to drive people insane. Some old robot mines called Scabies(Special Computerized Ambulatory Bombs Intended for Enemy Systems). Finally they reach Eden and battle Stafford and his three henchmen Bros Err, Dedman and Nunchaka-man. A chase on giant mutant bats leads to the destruction of Factor Q and the saving of the human race.

Well the writers really outdid themselves with this book. It looks like they decided to cannibalize book 9. Instead of Canada it is Mexico and they start out with sleds and switch over to a different form of transportation at a friendly native village. Otherwise its the race to save the world from a madman. A madman who wants to feed people shit. I mean literally and not figuratively as most politicians do. Never really explained why this place has such a deadly biological weapon in the first place. Or for that matter why there are all these futuristic weapons like robot mines or lasers that the place has. Scheransky the Russian scientist from book 9 that was sent to help is now apparently a defector and full member of the team. The series would start to be more about these goofy quests to stop some madman like Killov or someone of equal kookiness and less about fighting the occupying Soviets.



Copyright 1987.

Ted Rockson is wandering the deserts of Utah after being forced to crashland his stolen MIG from the last book. He soon gets captured by a patrol of KGB and taken to an abandoned missile silo. There the sadistic KGB Lt. Lev Strelsky is going to torture him. Rock manages to persuade him to a game of chess. If he loses then he will tell Strelsky the location of Century City. Strelsky is a chess champion and his ego agrees. Only he lose in six moves. Strelsky accuses Rock of cheating and starts to drag him behind his jeep. Just then a huge storm appears and twin tornadoes sweep up Rockson.

He lands outside of Salt Lake City in 1989 just a few days before the nuclear war of September 11, 1989. Only this Salt Lake City is different from our city. The inhabitants are all brainwashed with elevator muzik that is pumped over everywhere. The food is also drugged. Armed men called Rooks with mirror visored helmets and carrying flamethrowers and assault rifles. In this reality the Chessman has taken over the city. A Soviet chess player who was in town ten years ago and caught cheating. He and his followers then took over the city and erected a force field around it. Now he rules with an iron fist a drugged out populace.

Rockson is picked up as a homeless man and brought to the Rooks headquarters. There he is identified as Theodore Rockman C.P.A. an upstanding citizen. They give him a good old session of brainwashing with the muzik and drugged food. Next day his wife Kim comes to pick him up and take him back home. There he finds his nagging wife and two children who are never described in the entire book. He watches the popular game show Twenty Questions which involve torturing some homeless guy until he answers the question “What are you for?” with “Social order.”

After a weird evening and hot sex with Kim he is off to work in the morning at his firm. There he finds that Rona is his secretary and he is having an affair with her. Well he goes nuts at work and leaves but instead of home he goes to a seedy part of town and uses half the $8 lunch money for a dive hotel room. Then the other $4 for a roll with a prostitute. Wow what a deal. Later he goes to a bar and with drink and rock and roll music gets his memory back. He hooks up with the local resistance who are the homeless. Seems eating old food from the trash is OK since the drugs are no longer effective. Rock breaks into a gun store and modifies an Uzi with an anti-air gun for a .50 caliber Uzi and mows down hordes of Rooks and Knights on horseback.

Well with his newfound homeless friends he assaults the Chessman’s HQ and overcoming his mental powers finds out he is Strelsky who also has a counterpart in this past. Strelsky is killed and the people are freed from the muzik. Unfortunately WWIII starts and they must escape the city. Rock steals a cab and with Kim his kids and Barrelman the leader of the homeless manage to make it to the time door and escape back to 2092. First Rock goes through some new age mumbo-jumbo of seeing the universe and all his past lives. Then in the future Kim, Barrelman and the kids disappear. He finds the clothes he was wearing have also disappeared. It was all a dream. He strips some clothes from the dead KGB and heads off for Century City.

Well this has got to be the most bizarre story for even this series. In a way it’s bizarreness makes it my favorite of the series. It is the best remembered of the books and definitely held my interest. I lived in Utah and Nevada during the eighties and visited Salt Lake on numerous occasions. Had some good restaurants but never seen a force field around the city or the Chessman. The Chessman seems to run a poor excuse for an economy. Rock is a C.P.A. with a big office and a secretary but still is poor. They live in a run down apartment with tacky art and drive an old Gremlin. The authors get a chance to try for some social commentary about the homeless and the heartless materialism of society. The pursuit of inane game shows and sitcoms. It is all lost in such a goofy, weird story.

Oh and even as a C.P.A. he still gets the women. He’s married to Kim who is even a bigger annoying, nagging moonbat then the one from Rock’s time. Still the Chessman is a bit of a sexist and conditions obedience in woman. As Kim says to Rock, “Just lie back, dear. Remember what the Chessman says about sex. it’s the woman’s job. After a hard day, the best thing is a blow job.” Naturally Rock is OK with this but does later take charge to Kim’s delight. And of course he is cheating on her with Rona in this alternate timeline. Not to mention the $4 prostitute. Don’t remember $4 going so far back then. Definitely a classic.