Monday, June 7, 2010

TUSKERS - a synopsis

It’s game day on November 25, 2090, and football as you’ve never imagined it, between Nebraska and Oklahoma. Nebraska has not lost a game in ten years, but must win this last one against OU to complete the perfect decade. Both teams bring secret weapons—in the form of unique players—to the stadium. An obscenely-wealthy, foul-mouthed genius chemical engineer named Arly Hockrood, who holds the patent on corn slime, Nebraska’s most important agricultural product, is an evil force, using all his resources to help Oklahoma win. The origin of Hockrood’s disdain for Nebraska is explained as backstory. The other main characters include Marvin, Hockrood’s valet, chauffeur, and helicopter pilot; Archie, the woolly mammoth Nebraska mascot; Jack Alexander, one of Hockrood’s corn slime salesmen and ardent football fan; Suzi Alexander, Jack’s wife, a highly intelligent woman who, as a child, loved mammoths and now studies Archie continuously (learning about football as a by-product!); Nancy Robbins, one of Jack’s former girlfriends and now the mother of Charlie Robbins, the finest tuba player in the Nebraska Marching Band; West Edmond Wilcox, the Oklahoma coach, Billy Boy Peebles, the Nebraska coach and his staff—“Slammin’” Sam Bangham (defensive coordinator) and Mort Flint (academic adviser)—and various players, especially Tyreese “The Fleece” Henderson, the greatest cornerback in the history of college football and, of course, a uniquely talented OU backfield.
TUSKERS not only is science fiction, it also is hilarious satire, exploring the American obsession with football as a national sport as the world experiences global climate change, political turmoil, and accelerating technological advance. In the end, the book is not so much about sport as it is about our preoccupation with sport as a displacement behavior in a world that is changing so rapidly we cannot control it.

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