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November Books 4) Missing Man

4) Missing Man, by Katherine MacLean

This book, published in 1975, is a fix-up of three stories published in Analog between 1968 and 1971 featuring psychic detective George Sandford, the last of which won a Nebula. The setting is remarkable - New York in a world recovering from environmental catastrophe, where there is much greenery and derelict buildings (and vulnerable underwater suburbs), and significant social control in return for quality of life. Sandford's somewhat seedy character and his feelings of blurred identity when he tries to read the minds of criminals (or their victims) are quite vivid. It is reminiscent of Alfred Bester, Philip K Dick and John Brunner. MacLean was obviously a pretty talented author who simply didn't produce as much as the other three; the only other story by her I remember reading is "The Snowball Effect", about the small town sewing circle that takes over the world.

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