New York City, 1953. The golden age of television, when most programs were broadcast live. Young Kurt Jastrow, a full-time TV writer and occasional actor, is about to have a close encounter of the apocalyptic kind.
A survey of the last 100 years of science fiction, with representative stories and illuminating essays by the top writers, poets, and scholars, from Edgar Rice Burroughs and Samuel Butler to Robert A. Heinlein and and Jack Vance, from E.E. "Doc" Smith and Clifford D. Simak to Ted Chiang and Charles Stross – and everyone in between. More than one…
Kurt’s most beloved character (and alter ego) is Uncle Wonder, an eccentric tinkerer whose pyrotechnically spectacular science experiments delight children across the nation. Uncle Wonder also has a more distant following: the inhabitants of Planet Qualimosa. When a pair of his extraterrestrial fans arrives to present him with an award, Kurt is naturally pleased-until it develops that, come next Sunday morning, these same aliens intend to perpetrate a massacre.
Will Kurt and his colleagues manage to convince the Qualimosans that Earth is essentially a secular and rationalist world? Or will the two million devotees of NBC’s most popular religious program suffer unthinkable consequences for their TV-viewing tastes? Stay tuned for The Madonna and the Starship!
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