Red Alert: this is a god warning

Red Alert: This is a God WarningRed Alert: this is a god warning (Sidgwick & Jackson)

The whole book is one long poem, or, indeed , a play. The setting is a space-shuttle on its way to the nowhere city of Alphaville. All the characters are heard as voices through the Public Address system of the space shuttle. In-flight entertainment is provided by screenings of Star Trek. The space shuttle is hi-jacked by the god Dionysus, who, as in traditional Greek mythology, is not only god of wine, the dance, and ecstasy, but also god of death. The story develops as a contest: can the hi-tech systems of the space shuttle ordered into action by the shuttle’s captain, aided by the even more extreme hi-tech of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, Mr Spock, and engineer Scottie, stave off the plunge into a dionysiac destruction that is also the dance of the leopards and dolphins, the joy of nature joining hands and singing “Alle Menschen warden Brüder.”


Zany, joyous.


The imaginative strength of the poetry is outstanding. His intellectualism is balanced by a Zorba-like vitality, and a fine perception.

Gordon Strachan, BBC Radio 4

His poem is taut, alert, deliberate, owes much to the daily tensions of dallying with death.

Ann Nugent, THE STAGE

 from Red Alert: this is a god warning

The Captain
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking.
There is absolutely no cause for alarm.
The fact that the nose of the plance
Appears to he pointing downward
At an angle of forty degrees
Is purely an optical illusion.
There seems to be a malfunction
In the computer’s elevation data.
Admittedly, if not corrected,
We shall crash in precisely four minutes.
But there is absolutely no cause for alarm —
The cockpit is full of the scent of honeysuckle —
Turn up the volume on the movie speakers.

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