- 20 Nov 19
The Cordyceps Caper
Koepp, famed for his screenwriting work on the likes of Jurassic Park and Mission: Impossible, knows a thing or two about thrills and spills and positioning an audience on or near the edge of their seats. This, his debut novel, is as high-concept as they come. A deadly fungus - the Zombie Fungus! - wants to kill everything. There you go. That’ll either make you want to read it, or it won’t, depending on your disposition.
A bit of the Skylab space station falls in Australia in the late seventies, but there's something very bad growing in it. Some fool decides to keep it as a souvenir - of course - and, once it starts doing bad things, Pentagon man Roberto Diaz is sent in to investigate. He finds the space-mutated strain of the real-world cordyceps fungi - it infects the host and then, when it's ready to pop, forces said host to higher ground so, post gruesome explosion, its spores are spread as far and wide as possible. This particular fungi used to go for ants but now it's after larger prey. The team manage, despite casualties, to destroy it, but not before ill-advisedly taking a sample. Have these people never seen a movie or read a book? Said sample is put in government cold storage, but, years later, will it somehow get loose and cause havoc? Well duh!
Fabulously entertaining - and ridiculous - stuff, with just enough science in it so you can still feel good about yourself, that I couldn’t put down. The movie is as inevitable as Christmas.