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WesternSFA


The VMR Theory
by Robert Frezza
Del Rey, 309pp paperback
First Published: October 1996

I don’t care what anyone says…I think puns are a high art form.  I can’t make a pun to save my life but I cackle like a hen on crack when I hear good ones.  This is a fun but frenetic read.

Ken MacKay is a vampire, along with his long-time partner, Catarina.  While the disease does the usual: pale skin, aversion to sun and garlic, it also creates an insatiable desire for chocolate.  It also tends to bring out the worst superstitions in just about everyone.  Ken and Catarina work for Naval Intelligence and they are sent to the planet Macdonald – for reasons I don’t quite remember and I’m not motivated to reread just now.  The inhabitants of Macdonald are a bit weird – they seem to have adopted all sorts of strange human traits based on movies, books and superstitions.  The weirdest one, to Ken and Catarina, is the VMR theory, or the Vampire Master Race theory.

Ken and Catarina end up on a superspeed roller coaster ride involving all sorts of aliens, underground Catholicism for aliens, unfaithful lovers, government coups and things that go boom.  The plot is deliberately confusing and complicated beyond reason.  But, as far as I’m concerned, that’s unimportant.  What’s important are the jokes, puns and outright outrageous statements that make the reader go: WTF or damn, I know what that means!

Ken has to balance the needs of his crew against his mission which tends to change based on the latest insanity from the Macdonalds.  His crew includes two lovers (I think they’re different species) where the male doesn’t understand why his lover resents him ‘adopting’ cute Macdonald females, a closet smoker, and two small rodent-like aliens named Mickey and Minnie who seem to have an innate understanding of stocks and bonds.

The Macdonalds, having rejected many other theories of who or what really runs the universe, have pretty much settled on the VMR Theory and wish to observe two of the most public of outed vampires, Ken and Catarina; hence the invite to their planet.  Where Ken and Catarina promptly get involved in a potential coup.  And then confusion abounds.  But I didn’t care.  The idea of aliens hiding an underground Catholic religion, or the fact that if anyone caught someone actually smoking…well, the ramifications were really, really bad, or the little rodent aliens taking over a whole planet’s economic system just because they saw an opportunity…well, it was just fun. 

Frezza was not a prolific writer but he did write one other with the same characters and I’ll have to try and find it now.  ~ Catherine Book

For more titles by Robert Frezza click here

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