Robert Reed is one of the most acclaimed and prolific writers at work in SF today. He was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction in 1987, and won the Hugo Award for his 2006 novella “A Billion Eyes.” He’s sold some 200 short stories to numerous markets, including Asimov’s Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Interzone, Albedo One, Postscripts, F&SF, and Daily Science Fiction, and published over a dozen novels, including Down the Bright Way (1991), An Exaltation of Larks (1995), and Marrow (2000).
But back in 1988 he was a young writer with just one novel under his belt, The Leeshore (1987). His second, The Hormone Jungle, was published in hardcover that year by Donald Fine, and reprinted in paperback a year later by Popular Library with a cover by Luis Royo. Unlike the sophisticated space opera for which Reed is known today, The Hormone Jungle was packaged as a straight-ahead adventure story tailor made for a film treatment staring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Set “on an Earth overrun by a trillion species,” it featured a square-jawed “professional hero,” a beautiful lady android in distress, and a noir edge. That didn’t help it find a market, however… it pretty much vanished without a trace, and has never been reprinted. Copies aren’t hard to find, but it nonetheless took me a while to acquire one. I finally found one on eBay recently for $4.99 (including shipping).
Our previous coverage of Robert Reed includes:
The Hormone Jungle was published by Questar/Popular Library in June 1989. It is 300 pages, priced at $4.50 in paperback. The cover is by Luis Royo. Read more at Reed’s website, and see all our recent Vintage Treasures here.