Norman Spinrad Books In Order

Second Starfaring Age Books In Order

  1. The Void Captain’s Tale (1982)
  2. Child of Fortune (1985)


  1. The Solarians (1966)
  2. Agent of Chaos (1967)
  3. The Men in the Jungle (1967)
  4. Bug Jack Barron (1969)
  5. The Iron Dream (1972)
  6. Passing Through the Flame (1975)
  7. Riding the Torch (1978)
  8. A World Between (1979)
  9. Songs from the Stars (1980)
  10. The Mind Game (1980)
  11. The Process (1983)
  12. Little Heroes (1987)
  13. Russian Spring (1991)
  14. The Children of Hamelin (1991)
  15. Deus X (1992)
  16. Vampire Junkies (1994)
  17. Pictures at Eleven (1994)
  18. Journal of the Plague Years (1995)
  19. Greenhouse Summer (1998)
  20. He Walked Among Us (2003)
  21. The Druid King (2003)
  22. Mexica (2005)
  23. Osama the Gun (2016)
  24. Welcome to your Dreamtime (2016)
  25. The People’s Police (2017)


  1. Destiny Times Three / Riding the Torch (1978)
  2. Riding the Torch / Tin Soldier (1990)


  1. The Last Hurrah of the Golden Horde (1970)
  2. The Star-Spangled Future (1979)
  3. Other Americas (1988)
  4. Deus X and Other Stories (2003)
  5. New Worlds Coming (2010)


  1. None of the Above (2013)


  1. Journals of the Plague Years (1988)
  2. Subjectivity (2010)
  3. Carcinoma Angels (2013)
  4. Entities (2013)
  5. The Helping Hand (2013)
  6. The Music of the Sphere (2013)
  7. The Transformation Crisis (2013)
  8. Where No Man Pursueth (2013)
  9. The Sword of Damocles (2018)
  10. General Strike (2019)

Anthologies edited

  1. The New Tomorrows (1971)
  2. Modern Science Fiction (1974)
  3. No direction home (1975)

Non fiction

  1. Staying Alive (1983)
  2. Experiment Perilous (1983)
  3. Science Fiction in the Real World (1990)
  4. A Critic at Large in the Multiverse (2010)
  5. An Experiment In Autobiography (2010)
  6. Fragments of America (2012)
  7. The Cancer Diary (2013)
  8. Raising Hell (2014)

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Norman Spinrad Books Overview

The Void Captain’s Tale

In the Second Starfaring Age, humans travel the universe via a technology they barely understand, propelled by a space drive consisting of mysteriously complex mechanisms and, symbiotically linked to it, a living woman, the Void Pilot. Pilots are rare, and the ability to be a Pilot also entails physical wasting and a shortened life. But Pilots live only for the timeless moments of Transition, when their ships cross the emptiness of space in an instant. Now Void Pilot Dominique Alia Wu has begun to catch a glimpse of something more, something transcendent in that eternal moment…
and she needs the cooperation of her Captain to achieve it permanently. Even at risk to the survival of the Ship. Norman Spinrad has been one of SF’s most adventurous writers since the 1960s, an internationally praised peer of such writers as Harlan Ellison, Michael Moorcock, and Samuel R. Delany. His stories of the Second Starfaring Age, The Void Captain s Tale and the later novel Child of Fortune, form a single epic praised by the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction as an eroticized vision of the Galaxy…
an elated Wanderjahr among the sparkling worlds.

Child of Fortune

In the exotic interstellar civilization of the Second Starfaring Age, youthful wanderers are known as Children of Fortune. This is the tale of one such wanderer, who seeks her destiny on an odyssey of self discovery amid humanity’s many worlds. Arresting and visionary, Child of Fortune is a science fictional On the Road.

The Solarians

For 300 years The Solarians had isolated themselves from the galaxy with the promise to reappear one day to bring victory. With the human race at stake in a war with machine like beings, can Jay Palmer accept them and their dangerous plan to surrender Earth?

Agent of Chaos

First published in the 1960s, Spinrad was one of the first writers to perceive the totalitarian implications of the cradle to grave welfare state. But at the same time he was too organically a radical ever to be confused with a conservative. Result: ‘Agent of Chaos!’ Boris Johnson thinks he wants democracy. But 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 C.H.A.O.S. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood of Assassins plays a game that no one can fathom. Whose side are they on? Whose fool are you? Spinrad explores his philosophical theme in a manner all too rare in contemporary science fiction. The problem is that Order will always try to eliminate any random factors. By its very nature, it encourages opposition and that feeds the forces of chaos. But chaos has built in problems as well. Its victories cannot help but feed the forces of reaction, of order. The heroes in this novel ultimately opt for personal freedom. The villains try to establish a dictatorship over the very nature of reality itself. And then Spinrad throws in the discovery of aliens. A starship sets forth to meet them, the Prometheus. The Hegemony doesn’t like that.

Bug Jack Barron

Lover and hero, Jack Barron, the sold out media god of the Bug Jack Barron Show, has one last chance to hit it big when he meets Benedict Howards, the power mad man with the secret to immortality.

The Iron Dream

An alternate world novel in which Hitler leaves Germany after World War I, the Na*zis never take power, Hitler emigrates to the United States, where he becomes an SF writer and writes LORD OF THE SWASTIKA, the novel within the novel, his fantasy of Na*zi Germany in a world where the real thing never was. With an academic afterward explainingv why such a thing as Na*zi Germany could never have happen except in an heroic fantasy novel. Published in a dozen languages, winner of the Prix Apollo, short listed for the Nationa Book Award, banned in Germany, then exonerated after 8 years of court action. A well known classic that went through about half a dozen printings in English editions, out of print for several years.

A World Between

TROUBLE IN PARADISE Pacifica was a monument to freedom and equality until the off worlders came. The Femocrats, a party of female separatists, and the Transcendental Scientists, an institute of technofascists dedicated to male supremacy. Carlotta Madigan, Pacifica’s prime minister, and Royce Lindblad, her handsome young lover and media adviser, had to find a way to stop the Pink and Blue War without becoming casualties themselves.

Songs from the Stars

Centuries after the big smash, the successor civilization of Aquaria more or less flourishes on the west coast of what was once the United States, a society built on White Science, following the ‘law of muscle, sun, wind and water.’ Only the sorcerers of Space Systems, Inc., dare traffic in the ‘Black Sciences’ of atomic, petroleum and physics which destroyed the old golden age of space, for they alone know of the higher destiny that awaits man in the abandoned Big Ear space station. For centuries, they have secretly infiltrated Aquarius through the gray town of La Mirage while crafting a spaceship capable of reaching the Big Ear and turning man’s ears once more to the mysterious Songs from the Stars. Now, through the Aquarians Clear Blue Lou, perfect master of the Clear Blue Way, and Sunshine Sue, queen of the Word of Mouth communication network, they scheme to bring their ultimate scenario to fruition. Sex, love, emotion, karma, destiny, perhaps even The Way itself, all become elements in the scenario of Arnold Harker, Black Scientist, sorcerer, project manager of Operation Enterprise. But when Clear Blue Lou, Sunshine Sue and Arnold Harker finally confront the interstellar brotherhood of sentient beings, they find, each in his way, that The Galactic Way utterly transcends their hopes, wildest dreams and darkest fears. In this novel of science, mysticism and their ultimate synergistic fusion, Norman Spinrad once again demonstrates his power to create a vivid future that encompas*ses our dreams of space. ‘Songs from the Stars‘ is good old-fashioned science fiction set free from its old-fashioned puritan taboos…
‘Clear Blue Lou is a judge of the tribes in post-atomic Aquaria, an isolated national fragment in a broken world. Apparently there is no authority in Aquaria, not even a father figure, except for the circuit-riding judiciary which hears cases and speaks justice by inspiration…
. We find ourselves following Lou on a traditional Quest for the secret of the Dark Power, led of course by his soul-guide anima…
. Clear Blue Lou and Sunshine Sue are destined for each other…
bound together by the dark power, as a god hero and his consort would be…
.’ Walter M. Miller, Jr., author of A Canticle for Leibowitz ‘The blue of Clear Blue Lou and the yellow of Sunshine Sue mix to make the greening of Earth and the rest of the cosmos…
. Remarkable…
. This is one of the uplifting works I’ve read…
not a false word uttered.’ Philip Jose Farmer, author of the Riverworld series ‘Norman Spinrad is in top form for this one. A fine book, brilliantly written. I enjoyed every page of it.’ Roger Zelazny, author of the Amber series ‘Dense and meaty, multi-layered…
as if Norman considers it a sin, as I do, to bore the reader or waste his time…
. Spinrad leads the reader gently toward wider and more awesome vistas, expanding his mind as he goes.’ Larry Niven, co-author of The Mote in God’s Eye and Lucifer’s Hammer ‘This is perhaps Spinrad’s finest novel-deft, powerful, with ideas that ricochet through the story. A fascinating vision of a very different future, with hope and ambition of its own, unhobbled by the past.’ Gregory Benford, author of In the Ocean of Night ‘Spinrad’s excitingly unique imagination is at its best. He thinks with great daring and there is an unusual quality of poetry in his visions.’ Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek

Deus X

In the tradition of Blade Runner and stories like Philip K. Dick’s ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,’ acclaimed science fiction author Norman Spinrad explores the depths of what it means to be human; more accurately, he delves into the nature of the soul in our increasingly computerized technological age. Featuring a poignant new Afterword by Spinrad, this reprinting of one of Spinrad’s most cherished works is more timely than ever before. Can human consciousness exist within the framework of an electronic ‘brain’ and still maintain its humanity? In Deus X, a dying priest’s consciousness is uploaded into the most advanced computer of the day and what ensues is a thought provoking, entertaining and overly intriguing clash between the various characters surrounding the experiment, a female Pope and a computer guru who’d rather be sailing and smoking pot, for example. Spinrad is author of over twenty novels, including BUG JACK BARRON, THE MIND GAME, THE VOID CAPTAIN’S TALE, JOURNALS OF THE PLAGUE YEARS, LITTLE HEROES, PICTURES AT 11, GREENHOUSE SUMMER, THE DRUID KING, and MEXICA.

Vampire Junkies

Count Dracula escapes by the skin of his teeth from Romania, ends up in the Chelsea Hotel in New York, where the first drink of blood he finds is a junkie hooker. It’s love at first bite, at least for Drac, Little Mary Sunshine has somewhat different ideas. Humor in a jugular vein. A down and dirty low budget movie adaptation is in the works.

Journal of the Plague Years

Sex means death when a virus, originating in Africa, is unleashed on the world for twenty terrible years, until a cure is finally found, in a new edition of this science fiction fable featuring commentary by the author.

Greenhouse Summer

About a hundred years from now, pollution, overpopulation, and ecological disasters have left the rich nations still rich, and the poor nations the Lands of the Lost slowly strangling in drought and pollution. New York City is below sea level, surrounded by a seawall. The climate in Paris is much like the twentieth century climate of long drowned New Orleans. And Siberia, Golden Siberia, is the crop land of the world. Still, for the international corporations and businesses who make a profit on technofixing the environment the Big Blue Machine it is business as usual: sell what you can where you can whenever you can. It is better to be rich. But it all may be coming to a terrible end: a scientist has predicted Condition Venus, the sudden greenhouse downfall of the entire planet but she can’t say when. So now the attention of the world is focused for a week on a UN conference on the Environment in Paris, where all hell is about to break loose.

He Walked Among Us

What, exactly, is He Walked Among Us? In a way it’s science fiction. It’s also an acidly satiric satire of show business. The novel is screamingly funny at times. There are New Age aspects to He Walked Among Us. It’s philosophical. It might deal with Quantum Physicse. And it also has some hardcore scenes that might make Edward Lee wince. Jimmy Balaban is an aging, seedy, third rate show biz agent. He meets a dubious comedian named Ralf who claims to be from the future. He’s here to save us from ourselves. It’s an odd act, but Jimmy is a pro and the nose knows. Maybe there is a little bit of money to be made from this strange act. He takes Ralf on as a client and hires a male science fiction writer and a female New Age guru to turn Ralf into the cash cow that he always wanted. Astonishingly, it works. The question remains: Who, or what, is Ralf? Spinrad has called He Walked Among Us his magnum opus and I definitely agree. I’ve been a fan of his work for a long time and I’ve been continually blown away by his writing. He Walked Among Us, however, is a revelation. Naturally, a lot of people aren’t going to get it. This isn’t an easy, simple book. Oh, it’s easy enough to read, but it’s even easier to dismiss it as gimmicky fluff. Worse, readers could feel that Spinrad has a condescending attitude toward his audience. That he’s laughing at them or feeling smugly superior. I don’t feel that way, but a complex novel like He Walked Among Us can be interpreted in endless ways. That’s part of the beauty of it. Spinrad has always had an amazing imagination, which is augmented by his own radical sensibilities.

The Druid King

Vercingetorix, the great Gallic warrior, was both a man of history and a man of myth. Druid King of Gaul, King of One Hundred Battles, he was among Julius Caesar’s greatest opponents; his eventual defeat at Caesar s hands was said to prove Caesar s unstoppable power. Yet Vercingetorix has remained, to this day, a French national hero. And now he is the heart and soul of this enthralling and evocative historical novel. Witness to his father s harrowing death, Vercingetorix spends years deep in the forest living with the druids. Although they raise him as one of their own, his father s honor and the looming shadow of Rome force him to become a warrior. After an ill fated alliance with Caesar, he gathers the tribes of Gaul against law and custom into a single army, ragtag but determined to face down the might of the Romans. This dramatic and momentous life, played against a brilliantly created background of the disparate worlds of Gallic and Roman soldiers, is riveting. The final battle that pits Vercingetorix s will against Caesar s own rounds out a novel that richly traces the arc of a hero s life and the origin of a legend.


The year is 1531. In a small hut on the slopes of the volcano Popocateptl, scholar and poet Alvaro de Sevilla reflects on his extraordinary life. For Alvaro was one of the small army of conquistadors who, some years earlier, set out to conquer an empire. Hernando Cortes was proclaimed a reincarnation of the god Quetzacoatl shortly after his arrival in the New World, and he took advantage and forced his way to the capital city. There he met Montezuma, the Aztec Emperor, who at first welcomed the conquistadors to his city, showering them with gold. But it was an encounter between two civilizations that could only end in chaos, death, and destruction.

Science Fiction in the Real World

No ordinary critic, Norman Spinrad explicates, celebrates, and sometimes excoriates science fiction from the privileged perspective of an artist armed with intimate knowledge of the craft of fiction and even of the writers themselves.

In these 13 essays, Spinrad urges science fiction as a genre to reach its potential. He divides the essays new works written specifically for this book combined with those that appeared in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine into five sections: ‘Literature and Genre: A Critical Overview,’ in which Spinrad establishes his critical standards; ‘Alternate Media: Visual Translations,’ a discussion of comic books and books made into movies; ‘Modes of Content: Hard SF, Cyberpunk, and the Space Visionaries’; ‘Psychopolitics and Science Fiction: Heroes True and Otherwise’; and ‘Masters of the Form: Careers in Profile,’ discussions of Sturgeon, Vonnegut, Ballard, and Dick.

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