cover image The Madonna and the Starship

The Madonna and the Starship

James Morrow. Tachyon (Legato, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-61696-159-6

Jonathan Swift meets Buck Rogers in this hilarious send-up of the golden ages of television and pulp sci-fi. In mid-20th-century New York City, Kurt Jastrow, de facto head writer for NBC’s Brock Barton and His Rocket Rangers, receives a transmission from the planet Qualimosa informing him that he has won the Zorningorg Prize for championing “reason in its eternal war with revelation.” Then the lobster-like extraterrestrials get wind of “Sitting Shivah for Jesus,” an upcoming episode of a Sunday-morning religious program written by Kurt’s love interest, Connie Osborne. The crustacean “logical positivists” propose to use their death ray to annihilate the show’s two million devout, “irrational” viewers. Can Kurt and Connie refashion her script into a satirical, sacrilegious screed, forestalling mass slaughter? This delightful romp from Morrow (Shambling Towards Hiroshima) provides the breathless answer in short order; no need to wait for next week to tune in and find out. (June)