Thursday, June 28, 2018

Chrome by George Nader

by George Nader
1978 Alyson Books

George Nader was a B-movie actor who moved to Europe after being served up to the tabloids to avoid Rock Hudson being outed.  There he acted in such films as The Human Duplicators, Beyond Atlantis, and the Jerry Cotton series.

In 1978 he wrote Chrome, his only novel published.  Chrome is set in a futuristic Earth that is rebuilding after an unspecified apocalypse.  Chrome has the ability to heal through massage and is assigned to heal Vortex, who has his hands encased in plastic tubes.

The first third of the book is just sexual tension between the two as the massages get closer and closer to Vortex's junk.  Then they hook up and we get more swerves than Vince Russo writing for Alfred Hitchcock.

Maybe Vortex is a robot, and by robot Nader means a genetically engineered test tube baby.  No, Chrome is the robot.  We're being watched, so you must pretend not to love me.  No, that was the test, to see if you'd publicly proclaim our love.  Now I'm dead, but no I'm not, but you are, no you're...

Etc, etc.  Vortex leaves somewhere and the rest of the book are meaningless plot twists explained to Chrome as he hangs out in his room.  The plot, such as it is, involves Chrome being a new kind of robot who is capable of compassion, and some folks want to kill him and some want to breed a race of supermen.

Some reviewers have turned their noses up at some themes of misogyny and eugenics expressed by some characters, but I didn't find it coherent or consistent enough to say that Chrome held these beliefs, much less Nader.

Interesting that book had a future where homosexuality was completely normal and didn't have a homophobe in the entire piece, but nothing interesting happened in the book itself.  Barely science fiction, only a couple of bj scenes so not exactly erotica, and not much of a love story.  I forgot the ending immediately after reading it.  Nader violates Checkov's Gun principle by introducing a hot alien with dildo arms in the first act and not inserting them anywhere in the third act.

Granted, I'm not exactly the target audience for 70s gay scifi romance, but when you find out that the guy from Robot Monster wrote a space porn, you can't not read it.

Paperback from Amazon

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