It all began when Captain Nathan Hansard of “A” Artillery Company of Camp Jackson/Mars Command Post went to Mars. The message he was sent there to deliver made him wish her were dead – in only six weeks’ time the total nuclear arsenal of Camp Jackson/Mars was to be released upon the enemy.
Something had to be done and fast. Captain Hansard left for Earth via the instantaneous transmitter of matter, hoping to arrive immediately. But when he sank into the manmitter’s once solid steel floor, he realized that he was a ghost. Only he did not remember dying… Well then, it was as a ghost that he would have to try and save mankind from atomic destruction…
First edition paperback original. Originally serialized in New Worlds magazine 12/66 & 1/67.
I’ve seen plenty of Disch’s novels on used bookshop shelves right next to the Philip K Dick books but have never read any nor any of his short stories, at least any that I can remember being by Disch. I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up had I not decided to open the book and find it inscribed “For Syd, Thanks for your hospitality, Thomas M Disch.”
That inscription piqued my interest, resulting in me doing a little bit of research on the author. Definitely an interesting individual. I’ll be on the lookout for his most famous novel, Camp Concentration.