A bit of a treat for you today – perhaps my favourite pulp book find ever. Rarely has 95p been better spent.
I actually read this one all the way through – how could I not? That was a few years ago, but my memory of what transpires within goes as follows:
The memorably named Linc Hosler is our protagonist, and he and his best buddy Wes are both daring research scientists working over at the Space Research Lab, although they seem to spend most of their time hanging around at their friend Kelly’s house. They both seem to be competing for Kelly’s attentions, but refuse to admit this to each other, leading to a great deal of unspoken jealousy and resentment between them. Kelly, for her part, makes it clear that she doesn’t like either of them very much, and wishes they’d go away and get on with their daring research science, or whatever. They all sit around and eat a lot of steaks, and hamburgers. There’s an annoying dog who keeps getting in everyone’s face. Frankly, the whole situation is pretty grim, and to make matters worse, there are all these Flying Eyes popping up all over the place, hypnotising everybody and marching them off to a ‘black pit’ in the woods.
In the grand tradition of human storytelling, a bunch of other stuff happens, some of which I seem to recall involves Linc Hosler taking surrealism to new heights by trapping one of the Eyes in a cage and poking it with a giant stick so that it has to keep blinking, nullifying it’s hypnotic power. I think he learns to communicate with it telepathically, presumably enabling him to ask probing questions like “ok, seriously, what the hell?” I mean, where would you even start?
In any case, Wes gets dragged off to the black pit, Linc is wracked by guilt because his jealousy caused him to let down his former best pal, some other stuff happens, I think someone sets off an atomic bomb, or maybe not, but either way the whole thing ends, as any good pulp sci-fi should, with a guy, a girl and a dog, all of whom have been drawn closer together and learned to understand each other better during their epic struggle against the Flying Eyes, surveying the wreckage and vowing to rebuild the human race upon foundations of love and rationality, two qualities which it must be said ‘The Flying Eyes’ has been somewhat lacking in up to this point, so good luck to ‘em, and let the procreation begin!
Ah, Miss J. Hunter Holly, what became of thee?
A sporadic career writing other science fiction books throughout the '60s and '70s, and aside from that, total anonymity on the world wide web, it would seem.
This one, written the same year, sounds quite good, but it's no Flying Eyes: