Raspberry Pretzel Salad Logic

Tom Flynn

The following is excerpted from Tom Flynn’s third science-fiction novel, the antireligious black-comedy technothriller Behold, He Said (Double Dragon Publishing, November 2018). It is the belated sequel to his earlier novels Galactic Rapture (2000) (being reissued as Messiah Games) and Nothing Sacred (2004) (also being reissued, both by Double Dragon).

In a future not unlike Star Trek’s, only much worse-governed, oafish Mormon “trideevangelist” Alrue Latier has been imprisoned in a punitorium on the planet Bohrkk for his misdeeds in the previous novels. Incarcerated with him are five of his plural wives: Zuzenah (the elder wife), Nataleah, Constance, Lupida, and Abigayl (the youngest wife, age seven—it’s complicated). They have a visitor: Meryam Mayishimu, a Spectator—a documentarian whose body contains apparatus to record her complete sensory field. She is interviewing the Latiers about their unique penal situation.

A freakish energy pulse destroys the punitorium. Only the Latiers and Mayishimu survive. They trek across Bohrkk’s harsh surface, where the native life cannot nourish them because of its chirality: it evolved with amino acids twisting in the opposite direction from the way they do in Earth life. Mayishimu continues recording in hope that someone, someday will view the survivors’ story.

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