Mort (geddit?) Vickers is a CORPorate Security Executive (i.e., a company hitman) in a near-future America wherein the Corporations have usurped most of the functions of Government and are a law unto themselves. We first meet him on a return Shuttle flight from an orbiting space station, where he has just eliminated a potential troublemaker. On arrival, Vickers learns that his own Corporate employer has "lost" an entire underground nuclear command facility to a megalomanic executive, who is on the point of sealing the bunker against the outside world and running it as his own personal domain. Through a number of violent subterfuges, Vickers is inveigled into the bunker with the mission: get it back and kill those responsible. Excellently bleak and savage, the first of a series of ‘80s/’90s "realist" works which claw America’s decadent corporate inhumanity.
On a primitive, arid planet, Harkaan is exiled from his tribe for killing men, only to discover that the killing spree, and his banishment, are part of a deliberately engineered Darwinian selection process, which culminates in his induction as a starship trooper in an interstellar war fought by humans on behalf of alien overlords, the Therem, against another group of aliens, the Yal. This is set in a full-metal future, with some brilliant and striking images of combat on alien planets. The book is, in the author’s words, a "long-range sequel" to Protectorate, and, unusually for Farren, concludes on a positive note, with a battered remnant of humankind escaping the all-embracing and cynical control of the alien masters and, just maybe, building a worthwhile life for themselves.
Somebody should make a movie of this one. There’s a new form of entertainment in town - the Feelies. You are placed in a capsule, wired up with electronic stimulators and drugged to the eyeballs, the better to live out your virtual-reality dreams. Be the Marquis de Sade, Billy the Kid, Thongar the Planet-Waster, or even Jesus if that’s your kink. Pick your fantasy from a catalog or have one tailor-made. Naturally, the Corporations charge a fortune for this ultimate luxury, but on the TV gameshows the top prize of the moment is a free lifetime Feelie contract. All you have to do is humiliate yourself in public – again and again and again – to win. And, should you finally climb into that capsule, you’ll discover that the Corporations haven’t quite mastered the technology, and your dream becomes a living (and dying) nightmare. A vicious satire on mass entertainment, corporate greed and media manipulation, probably Farren’s best novel.
Joe Gibson is a washed-up alcoholic rock star, an ex-rebel who's now nothing but an embarrassment. When the TV starts sending him messages one night, he's inclined to write it off as no more than a bad case of DTs. Fortunately for Joe, the TV messages are followed up by a visit from a representative of the Nine, a shadowy council of mystics and seers, who warns Joe that he's on a voodoo hitlist.
Thus begins a chaotic interdimensional chase, in which Gibson confronts ; psychic interference; UFOs; a very hip, and very scary, demon called Yancey Slide; and the ultimate transdimensional threat – Necrom itself.
A precursor to the thoroughgoing non-realism of his later book, , sees Farren making playful use of some of the wilder jetsam of theosophy and parapsychology to drive an excellent thriller.
A complex and mordant satire. Near-future America has become a dictatorship run by a fundamentalist Christian televangelist in the Jim Bakker mould, with the Constitution suspended, a religious police force of Deacons who root out heresy and liberalism by torture, and concentration camps for unbelievers. Control is reinforced at mass prayer meetings by the use of extravagant special effects projections – the Beast, the Whore of Babylon, and other Revelations favourites in 100-foot high 3D. The best effects programmer in the business is Charlie Mansard, an eccentric slob who would long ago have wound up in a camp but for his usefulness to the regime. Meanwhile, a terrorist group, the Lefthand Path, is setting bombs in public places. Harry Carlisle, a tough old-school NYPD cop, is tasked with nailing Lefthand Path, unaware that he is merely a pawn in a power struggle among the elite (and that his girlfriend is a terrorist sleeper agent). Some great jokes in here. Notice how Americans (the movie, Dennis Leary in , etc.) often jest about having a war with Canada? Well, in this novel, it’s the Canucks who do the invading. Oh, and Elvis is an officially-tolerated cult religion, followers dressed in His image, and His own Holy Book. The whole thing builds to a glorious climax when the special effects finally run amok and the regime comes crashing down. With the state of special FX in the movies now, this novel is entirely filmable. But would anyone have the balls? Not in Hollywood, probably.