Is a witty novel written for an adult audience (high-school or beyond); an allegorical novel written on several levels.
· A fantasy about a space explorer and his comical misadventures with sheep-like creatures which seem to mirror human behavior
· A tongue-in cheek comedy about life in the United States, circa 2014
· A serio-comedy which explores almost all of the current social and political issues
· A story with a moral
It is a work in four sections, similar to sections in Gulliver’s Travels. The main character is Harry Enlightenment, a quack psychiatrist (“healer”) who wants to be the first earthling to set up a practice on an alien planet.
I. Harry arrives on Planet Baa. In this section, Harry meets with a number of the locals while learning about their divisions by sect. He attends a congressional session, listening to the debates on many issues. He is an honored guest on the Baabaa Show and then plans his visit with a member of congress, to Mesa View, the land of the Technobirds.
II. Harry, with his escorts, tours Mesa View and is treated to a series of weird and comical technical innovations. At the conclusion of his tour, he is accused of stealing technology and banished from the island.
III. Again with his escorts, Harry tours Corporus, the land of the (corporate giant) Ohmys. His stated purpose is to look for potential trade agreements but, in reality, he is just on an expenses-paid spree to learn the culture in advance of his healing practice. His tour includes such enterprises as (the equivalent of): Ralph Lauren, Pepsico, Dow Chemicals, Campbell Soups, General Motors … many more. At the trip’s conclusion, it is apparent to the host congressman that Harry was really on a boondoggle and he is banished to Nowhereland, the island for criminals and misfits.
IV. On Nowhereland and with some unexpected help from the Holies, Harry is given a challenge: If he can reform four out of the eight worst criminals, he will be given his freedom to return home. This is not an easy task as he must reform Attila the Hun, Caligula, Hitler, Lizzy Borden and four others.
There have already been several positive reviews, among them this quote from science-fiction author Jack Powell: "From the "Where to begin? In the beginning, I suppose" to the last line of " I belong here after all." John has created a complete and complex world like none you have ever known. And, really never expected to know. It's hard to decide whether this is a treatise on accepting others as they are, or a political expose on our own troubled times. By the end you will know which.
Read this book with your tongue pushed firmly into your cheek."
- John Altson has had over fifty years of experience in computers and high-tech
- John retired from IBM in 2010 after more than twenty years of exposure to IBM's cutting-edge technology. His involvement with IBM Research is reflected in many of the concepts put into play within his adult novels
- John has published three adult novels, three children's books and one music video.
- John has a degree in mathematics from Hunter College in New York City and is a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the Mathematics Honor Society.