The Millions

My Search for an Incredible Piece of Sci-Trash

Of all of the brilliant, moving, intelligent works humanity has produced, the one I was most interested in reading was an outrageous piece of sci-fi trash filled with gratuitous sex, profanity, mutants, and over-the-top gore. The book–presumably written by an adult but appealing only to teenage minds–was something I came across by chance as a kid. As much as I wanted to read it again, I couldn’t remember the book’s title, author, or the series.

The quest to find this book took me more than a decade and necessitated the help of librarians, sci-fi experts, and visits to bookstores across the U.S. There have been an estimated 63,000 sci-fi and fantasy novels written since 1700, and by the time I eventually found what I was searching for, it seemed like I’d looked through them all. I was thrust back into the world of mutants and saw some pretty engaging things on Earth along the way.

I first came across it when I was eleven, and a good friend of mine gave me a book he said I’d like. The cover featured a human fighting a mutant and someone shooting

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