Agent of Chaos

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by Norman Spinrad

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More by Norman Spinrad

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Agent of Chaos

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Published in the 60s, Spinrad was among the first to perceive the totalitarian implications of a cradle-to-grave welfare state. Yet he was too radical to be considered conservative. The result was Agent of Chaos.

Boris Johnson wants democracy. In the course of his adventures he discovers that democracy to him means freedom. It's a banned concept from the Millennium of Religion. Like god. He finds himself dealing with a byzantine political situation worthy of anything from the banned past. The dictatorship is the Hegemony. Opposition is provided by the aptly named agents of CHAOS. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood of Assassins plays a game none can fathom. Whose side are they on? Whose fool are you? Then aliens are discovered. A starship is sent to meet them. The Hegemony doesn't like that...

Spinrad explores his philosophical theme in a manner rare in contemporary sf. The problem is that Order always tries to eliminate random factors. Its very nature encourages opposition. That feeds the forces of chaos. But chaos has built-in problems too. Its victories feed the forces of reaction, of order. The heroes here opt for personal freedom. The villains try to establish a dictatorship over the very nature of reality itself.


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