cover image Good News from Outer Space

Good News from Outer Space

John Kessel. Tor Books, $18.95 (402pp) ISBN 978-0-312-93178-0

Kessel's ( Freedom Beach ) latest novel, a black comedy of pre-millenial hysteria set a decade in the future, is an outstandingly original work. George Eberhart, recently resuscitated from a ``successful'' suicide attempt by the newly perfected Han process--a scientific advance widely regarded as blasphemous--finds himself even more alienated from his trashy journalism job and his wife than he was before his ``death.'' George becomes fascinated by a pattern of events that suggests a protean alien is traveling around the country playing sadistic games with unsuspecting earthlings, and he sets off to find the creature. While the novel is instantly enthralling and remains so for the first half, the focus then softens and the pace slackens. Writing in a intelligent, witty voice, Kessel creates full-fleshed adult characters in a somewhat uneven but still impressive achievement. (Oct.)