Gerry Reith's

PREFACE: a note from the publisher

Ever since we started publishing the journal Beatniks From Space, the Neither/Nor Press has been the bemused recipient of a motherlode of wild and crazy stuff, the fevered high ejaculate of a widespread international network of jackass intellectuals.

Gerry Reith, writing from Sheridan, Wyoming, quickly stood apart. He clearly had seen through the shallow depths of decadence, and was kicking at solid ground.

We first began our correspondence with Gerry Reith nearly four years ago, [1980] and in short time he had deluged onto us an emphatic series of short fictions, docu-dramas, posters and tracts -- the rich effluence of a mind hard and fast at work, of a man who had found some reasons to think.

We were alternately baffled, taunted, detourned and de-constructed by Minitrue, his propaganda project, the logical imperative that had followed his exposure to the appeals to treason that issued forth from The Last International, Gerry was gathering his rum crew via mail-order ministry, on a mission to unmask the true consequence of liberty.

A political man, Gerry was considered the "wayward Young punk" of the Wyoming Libertarian Party.....his peculiar path had lead him to gambol about among the fringe elements, the marginals at all the wrong ends of the spectrum. He caterwauled with the Anarchists, rambled around with the Xerox saints, and camped out behind the barn with the Situationists, He openly embraced the 24-hour all-night rabid nihilism espoused by the Church Of The Sub-Genius.

Impelling by the vigor and breadth of his attack Gerry Reith was an essential catalyst in this emerging dada-base of unabashed kooks, bludgeon artists and literary jackals, swaggering young intellectuals typing until doomsday their letters of correspondence, nurturing a literature on which governments might fall, and our binds be unbound.

One day, while reviewing our 'Gerry Reith' file, I realized that I was holding in hand an accomplished body of work. And compelled by its gravity of consequence, I suggested to Gerry that he cull from his work a series of short stories from which we might make a book. Gerry made then the decision to temper his voice with the collaboration of others, commissioning some pieces from close associates. The project just jelled in our hands.

Neutron Gun is modern allegory, political adventure tales designed to slap the reader right in the face, sticking the shiv through the ribcage of academy.

As publisher, I was thrilled with the prospect of putting out a strong book, a page-turner more than polemic, but one that dared to chew on the meat that matters.

I was stunned then when notified that Gerry had blown out his brains.

I was depending on Gerry, figuring that, after the release of this book, we'd probably have a lot of explaining to do and, more than anyone else, Gerry proved hope that we might yet write our way to freedom.

He came to rest slumped by his typewriter. The papers on his desk were too blood-encrusted to leave clear his final work, but at least he managed to finish the proofreading and corrections on the typescript of this volume before his unfortunate demise.

Some people say that Gerry too often got wrapped up in the Big Questions, others say he got strung out over a waitress. We know for sure that the FBI had found reason to launch an investigation just a few days before the end.

There will be people who say that mere "ideas" cannot be dangerous.....well, they just never had any ideas like these. Neutron Gun doesn't just open Pandora's box, but literally tears it apart. More than just a book, this is a concussion device. Blood, sweat and tears will never taste the same again.

Denis McBee