Forbidden Pulp Spoiler Vault


(click here to return to the Three Author Discussion of Acid Test)

Andre Vathier on the villain of Jeff Deischer’s Doc Brazen Acid Test novel:

I like that the villain is not John Spectrum per se:

“This is why I gave up my cloning research.

There are too many unforeseen consequences. Even

in the best circumstance, there are external factors

that cannot be controlled during the process. People

who clone their pets end up with a good facsimile,

but not a replica. The same has happened to you,

Jean D’arc. Despite your belief that you are John

Spectrum, you are not.”[…]

“You were brainwashed from birth to believe that you are,

 but you are not. You are your own person, a new

individual. You were given a second chance that no

one else has ever received.”

Paul, you of all people know how many writers use John Sunlight (Go read Paul’s articles, Omnipresent Sunlight!) Jeff tried something different with the thematic element of cloning. More often John Sunlight escapes death but this time John Spectrum really did die all those decades ago now. 

To quote Jean Baudrillard:

“C’est la vérité qui cache qu’il n’y en a pas.Le simulacre est vrai”

“The truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.”

John Spectrum in Acid Test represents really well the philosophical concept of the simulacrum. He’s not just a copy that’s tied to its original but a John Spectrum that took on a life of its own. He cannot be the original since the original died but he can be brainwashed into believing himself to be the original regardless of his lived experiences.

 Yeah Yeah here we go again the very French André Vathier brings postmodern philosophy into his reading of pulp stories.  (Jean Baudrillard has been on my mind lately.)

 I swear I don’t do this on purpose!

 That’s why this pastiche of John Sunlight Stands out and is memorable and tragic.

I hope that in future stories we see the group that raised this version of John Spectrum (I have not read the other novels yet).

(click here to return to the Three Author Discussion of Acid Test)

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