One Small Step by Brian E. Howard


I do not know much about the author other than I do not know much about him and this appears to be his first publication. From the ether it is possible to find that “This novel is about overpopulation, a topic which is like the big white elephant in the room that everyone knows is there but refuses to acknowledge. This in spite of the fact that all the major problems facing us as a race–deforestation, diminishing fresh water supplies, desertification, soil erosion, water and air pollution, and global warming, to name some of the biggest–are all a direct result of overpopulation! Any serious treatment of overpopulation implies birth control, another topic few wish to address, which is why I chose humor as a main element in the novel, and explains the graphic cover since the action all revolves around the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

From the dust cover: “Retro-Thriller? Spy Spoof? Black Humor Sendup (Wacky plot, oddball names, tons of word play, but no doom and gloom)? A Celebration of English? A Serious Comedy? Lots of Sex? Oh, Yes! All of the above! And the perfect antidote for anyone who has slogged through Gravity’s Rainbow.”

My Ebook review: Romp is the word that springs to mind when trying to sum up this extraordinary piece of work. The background is somehow the Apollo mission and the book covers says a lot about the symbolism of firing a massive, albeit highly complex, erection into space. The historical backdrop gives a veneer of credibility to the farce, while Brian Howard develops his characters beyond the apparently simple yet ample dimensions of first introduction to the point where they are thoroughly engaging.

This is not a story for the bashful of composure; the author does not refrain from sexual content which at one hand seems gratuitous but in reality only adds to the absurdity of this tale. It is so absurd that one can believe it to be possible. What a time that must have been.
A very entertaining book for lovers of pseudo serious spy thrillers and conspiracy.

It is also important to recall that the author has serious points to make and difficult points are raised and dealt with in an intelligent way. Howard is clearly and author who has a broad vocabulary and he uses it with skill throughout the book which only adds to the multilayered nature of the piece.

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