Disch, Thomas M.

The collection 'Triplicity' brings together three of Thomas Disch's better short novels: Echo Round His Bones, The Genocides, and The Puppies Of Terra. 

Echo Round His Bones:

Captain Nathan Hansard is an ordinary man and an ordinary officer of Camp Jackson, his only outstanding trait being his steadfastness. In the future (forgive the dates, this story was written in 1967 and considers 1990 to be "the distant future") the US has developed a matter-transmitter that changed global war relations forever. Hansard, though a lifer in the military, has never "jumped" before; until Colonel Ives orders him to Mars.

Hansard soon discovers that there is a well-kept secret to the "manmitter", as it is jokingly called. An Echo. A literal creation of a duplicate person. Together, with other "Echos", Hansard must think of a way to stop the world from blowing itself up.

The Genocides:

With all the apocalyptic books out there to enjoy, this is the freshest approach yet, and probably one of the older books. One day the world is covered in little green plants sprouting up everywhere. One month later the little plants are already over 100 feet tall. Things fall apart too fast to stop them, and as they encroach on society, society collapses. Those who are left survive only by sheer determination and hard work, having not only to deal with the immense plants blocking out the sunlight, but with strange spheres that patrol amongst them and disintegrate anything that moves.

Disch takes us into this little society, and we follow this group of well formed characters onward through further declines, delving into an underground world of strange fruits and un-ending roots systems; where human nature takes over and even the smallest of societies finally breaks down under the weight of desperation. 

The Puppies Of Terra:

Ever wonder what would happen if humans, without losing intellect, became pets to a higher race? Disch answers this question with a playful romp through the imagination. The Masters, an ethereal race of supreme, God-like Beings, enter the minds of men and take them as pets. Humans, ever seeking complete comfort of being, feel that under The Masters protection they have touched the Hand Of God. They are comforted, and willingly allow themselves to become pets.

The Masters create beautiful places for their human pets, called "Kennels", some on Earth and some on other planets. Only Earth contains humans who have refused The Masters, a renegade group determined to bring freedom back. The only problem is, the pets do not want to leave their Masters. They are well treated, well fed, and given complete freedom to move about the kennels and be creative.

'The Puppies Of Terra' is told by one named White Fang, a pet of impeccable breeding, and follows him from childhood to becoming an adult, and how he was taken away from not just his family, but his Master as well.

Doubleday bookclub edition - hardcover

       

           First Edition Hardcover                First Edition-ex lib. Hardcover                                                                                                                                                    TPB - B