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Yes, this August

Yes, this August, Peter Neilson, The Deep Underground Press, ??????, 1984, vellum, 177 pp


One of my favorite publishers is The Deep Underground Press. Their publishing goal is to encourage the subversion of, well, almost everything. No one knows who they are, where their works are printed, or who funds them. I suppose someone has to know, but even that is not certain. I have heard the publishers do all of their work under post-hypnotic trance and have no conscious knowledge of their involvement or their activities.

Most of their publications are pamphlets advocating rather odd causes. Quite frankly, I hope many of their authors are deranged; their sanity would imply things about the nature of reality that are rather more than disturbing. Their list includes a few works of fiction, an unauthorized biography of Nathan Childers, a chapbook of Vogon poetry, and the rather misleadingly named A Republican Cookbook.

Deep Underground Press publications can usually be found in those little corner bookstores that specialize in Marxist literature and self-published revolutionary poetry. If their publications aren't visible, ask the proprietors for the hard stuff. Some of the more reckless computer book stores also carry some of their works, usually labelled as instruction manuals for Windows Vista. I've had my best luck at the Mother Hubbard's Tea Time Book Store, but I admit that it is not worth travelling to Highmore just to visit a book store.

It is a puzzle to me how Mr. Neilson became a Deep Underground Press author. All things considered, it is probably best not to inquire into the details. Reviewers who ask too many questions sometimes end up being deep underground reviewers. Yes, This August may be a work of fiction. The plot is a rework of the Science Fiction novel, Not this August by C.M. Kornbluth. Russia and China have been replaced by Peta and the Consolidated Agribusiness Combine. The target of their oppression is the American independent farmer. Every rural comunity has a Peta representative and a CAC agent who enforce their will on hapless farmers. The description of their mode of cooperation is ingenious and should definitely not be mentioned to prospective juvenile delinquents.

The main characters are the hero, Lance Studly, his girlfriend, Vera Shapely, an ancient bearded hermit who calls himself General Hollerith, the Peta representative, Lotta Payne, and the evil CAC agent, Richard Harter. (I would like to think that this latter character name is an unintentional coincidence.) Our hero discovers that General Hollerith is the guardian of the last hollerith card reader, the last card punch, and a stock of virgin hollerith punch cards. Lance and Vera persuade General Hollerith to let them connect his card reader to the internet. They use computer code hidden in the DNA of genetically engineered corn to construct a virus that will destroy the world financial system.

They send out a message telling Peta and the CAC what the have and demand that Peta and the CAC go back to Urbopolis and leave the good American farmers alone. Naturally Peta and the CAC feel that Animal Rights and Corporate Greed are more important than the world economy, so they ignore Lance and Vera, who release the virus. The world economy collapses, and the world government is taken over by a group of Basque sheep herders who have the last remaining sound money in the world. The Peta people and the CAC agents are rounded up and become sheep dip inspectors. Lance and Vera find happiness in a haystack, and all ends well.


This page was last updated January 1, 2009.

Richard Harter's World
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