his one takes me back to my days in college. Back then, the world was certain to end in massive atomic warfare. And the world would grow from it, different and mutated. And the mutations would be quick, varied, and exotic.
Yeah, that was our thought, anyway, before we had The Road to show us what it would really be like.
Still, it was like opening the box for Gamma World again and rolling up an RPG character who was a two inch tiger with psyonic powers, this sense of a crazy post-holocaust world.
Hiero is a priest in what was once Canada, an Indian religious warrior whose people are falling back before the press of the “Unclean” (and their mutant denizens). They have a mission which seems (from my elder view) rather dangerously vague – Hiero is to journey south to the dead cities, looking for any possible weapons the good Canucks can use, or possible a fabled computer. I would think the odds of Hiero wandering about these radiated dead lands, finding specifically that, would be long. Remember, this is 1980, so computers will fill rooms. Good luck, pal.
However, he’s got several allies; a war-moose (I haven’t seen anything this cool since the guy with the elk in Princess Mononoke). And a psyonic bear who is intelligent. And a beautiful ex-slave/ex-princess. And a wandering woodsman priest. So some powerful characters have Hiero’s back. And as he moves on, he gains experience (RPG pun, there), his own psyonics becoming greater as he understands them more (me, I’d have turned around with this important news, balls to the mission). But Hiero is in it for the long haul.
I did like this. It was dated (as virtually every book eventually is) with its image of a post-atomic, overheated world. But it was fun, just over-written good-vs-bad struggles, gloating evil priests, strangely massive creatures, weird mutated plant empires, all that good stuff. Ralph Bakshi should have animated it.
Anyway, don’t know if you’ll find this one but it was a good page-flipper, worth it if you find it moldering in a box, perhaps in your own post-atomic ruins of a storage unit.