May 2009


Whitley Streiber has written an exciting new novel that I just finished reading. Mr. Streiber is famous for his personal alien and UFO contact and abduction memoirs and his current event driven work like The Coming Global Superstorm which was the basis of the movie The Day After Tomorrow. Once I started Critical Mass, I couldn’t stop reading, it really held my interest.

The current event topic of the novel is loose nuclear material, a subject which seems rather neglected in the media considering the lethal importance it could have on our lives. I am not a nuclear weapons expert, but the general thesis of the book seemed quite plausible. I did not mind that in the lead character, Jim Deutsch, is embodied a superman. He could not be stopped, he was never deterred from his task. In a real life situation the work he accomplished would likely have been completed by a task force, but turning him into a sort of super hero was a literary device that allowed the reader to become invested in the outcome for the protagonist.

The Arab-American brother and sister who were the most prominent auxiliary characters were well drawn. I was particularly impressed with the character of the brother, whose public persona was miles from his private inner reactionary self. Though an exaggeration in the novel, it is not uncommon in life.

The ending was OK but slightly anticlimactic, which is not surprising given the incredible amount of exciting and terrifying action in the story.

Although I can recommend Critical Mass as entertaining reading (which it definitely is), the underlying message of the danger of unaccounted for fissionable materials cannot be overstated.

 

 

 

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Hans Holzer

Hans Holzer

 

 

When I was a kid between the ages of ten and fourteen there is nothing that I would have rather done than read a book by Hans Holzer. This man wrote scores of books on the paranormal particularly true ghost stories. I gobbled them all up as fast as they were put on the shelves. I wanted to be a Viennese parapsychologist too.

Imagine my surprise some years later when I was introduced to Hans Holzer by a Wiccan friend at the Limelight, a circa 1990 club in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. We became friendly and my friend and I visited Hans several times at his roomy Upper West Side apartment. Hans was a strict vegetarian which made it difficult to go out for a meal. He liked to cook his own food. He was always very kind to me. Once he wrote a letter in my defense to the alumni association of a prominent Catholic university. The association felt it was against doctrine to have me visit there as a psychic. Hans said that the psychic sense was a proven skill and a subject for parapsychological inquiry not medieval witch-hunting (or something of that order) and I got my booking back.

In 2002 he published an updated version of the Psychic Yellow Pages and included an article about me. So events had come full circle for me since reading his books as a kid.

Hans Holzer, you are truly missed.

New York Times obituary