Stay alert, citizen! In 2011 your friend The Computer authorized publisher Ultraviolet Books to release all-new novels based on the classic roleplaying game of a darkly humorous future, PARANOIA. Written by established PARANOIA designers, edited and laid out to professional standards, these novels were published in DRM-free editions for the Amazon Kindle, Nook, iPhone/iPad, and other ereaders with new covers by longtime PARANOIA artist Jim Holloway. And they were even for your security clearance!
PARANOIA novels from Ultraviolet Books were not just light-hearted stories of backstabbing, treachery, and Emergency Bathroom Break Requisition forms. They’re also smart science-fiction satire in the long tradition of Philip K. Dick, Aldous Huxley, Brazil, THX-1138, and Stanislaw Lem, along with a touch of Red Dwarf and Douglas Adams. Similar writers and works that longtime SF fans may recall include Robert Sheckley, John Sladek, the 1950s collaborations by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth, Lem’s 1973 novel Memoirs Found in a Bathtub, and Eric Frank Russell’s classic 1955 short story “Allamagoosa.”
If you like reading about repressed teenagers groping sparkly vampires, these books will touch you in the bad place. But if you think Survivor needs a higher body count, your friend The Computer requires you to enjoy PARANOIA.
PARANOIA NOVELS ARE FUN. OTHER NOVELS ARE NOT FUN. READ PARANOIA.
Trust the Computer! The Computer is your friend!
In 2011 The Computer’s loyal servants in Housing Preservation and Development & Mind Control posted four PARANOIA titles:
- A1 The Computer is Your Friend – an introductory anthology
- Y1 Traitor Hangout by WJ MacGuffin
- S1 Reality Optional by Gareth Hanrahan
- T1 Stay Alert by Allen Varney
Edited by Allen Varney
CITIZEN! MANDATORY ORIENTATION STARTS HERE.
The Computer is happy. The Computer is crazy. The Computer wants citizens to be happy. This drives them crazy. Many traitors threaten the underground city of Alpha Complex. Who’s more dangerous – traitors or happy citizens?
THERE MAY BE A TEST, FOLLOWED BY POSSIBLE TERMINATION.
This introductory anthology of fiction and articles is mandatory for those new to Alpha Complex. Several of the stories introduce characters and concepts from the novel line.
- “Rule Zero” by Allen Varney – A prelude to T1 Stay Alert.
- “Market Research” by Greg Ingber – Who knew a survey for Bouncy Bubble Beverage could be so frightening?
- “Hay Fever” by WJ MacGuffin – Introduces CPU “Yellowpants” efficiency auditor Clarence-Y and his pet mouse Ignatius, stars of the novel Y1 Traitor Hangout.
- “Action Request” by Greg Ingber – Any simple maintenance request always becomes more fun when you add Troubleshooters.
- “Data Exhaust” by Gareth Hanrahan – A prequel to Reality Optional.
- Plus the background and history of PARANOIA, both game and fiction.
THIS COLLECTION WILL HELP YOU BECOME LOYAL, INFORMED, AND LOYAL.
ATTENTION, CITIZEN JEROME-G. THIS IS YOUR FRIEND THE COMPUTER.
Jerome-G had a good job at the Threat Obfuscation Department in The Computer’s underground city of Alpha Complex. He invented false threats to cover up true dangers. It made perfect sense, once he understood The Computer’s idea of “true” is entirely false.
INTERNAL SECURITY CONSIDERS YOU A CITIZEN OF INTEREST.
Suddenly Jerome’s fake menaces are turning real. Rogue robots are conspiring for independence. There’s a pirate ship in the transport tubes. And the real-est threat is the powerful executive Ellister-V, who means to dispose of Jerome permanently.
WELCOME TO THE TROUBLESHOOTERS!
To evade a fatal reassignment as reactor shielding, Jerome volunteers for The Computer’s elite service unit. Troubleshooters heroically defend Alpha Complex from traitors. Too bad Troubleshooters are often traitors themselves.
YOUR FIRST MISSION: FIND A LOST PAIR OF GLASSES.
If Jerome’s teammates knew the equipment they seek is right in his pocket, they’d kill him. His experimental Augmented Reality goggles reveal the truth behind everything — and he’s more confused than ever.
YOU ARE IN ERROR. NO ONE IS SCREAMING. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION.
EVERYONE SHOULD BE HAPPY. IMMEDIATELY.
In the underground city of Alpha Complex, The Computer wants every citizen to have fun. If you’re not having fun, The Computer will turn you into reactor shielding.
ATTENTION, TROUBLESHOOTERS. PLEASE RETURN THIS STOLEN HELPBOT TO ITS OWNER. THIS MISSION INVOLVES NO DEADLY WARFARE BETWEEN RIVAL CRIMINAL GANGS AND WILL BE LOTS OF FUN.
The Computer’s elite service agents, the Troubleshooters, have fun delivering the helpbot to a sequence of murderous gangsters. It’s not annoying or repetitious at all, no siree. (“You look like you’re about to shoot your teammate! Would you like help?”)
IF YOU MEET DIFFICULTIES, SEEK HELP FROM YOUR FELLOW TROUBLESHOOTERS.
Team Leader Fletcher-R is about to have lots of fun learning about his teammates. He’ll learn they’re criminals themselves. Or they belong to traitorous secret societies. Or they’re betraying illegal mutant powers, usually while betraying illegal mutant teammates. Fun, fun, fun.
BEWARE! TRAITORS ARE EVERYWHERE!
High on an experimental alertness drug called Leery, Fletcher must complete his mission before the treacherous Troubleshooters discover his own mutation — or his ever-changing criminal affiliations — or his membership in the First Church of Christ Computer-Programmer — in short, before Fletcher’s teammates find out he’s a traitor. Fletcher is about to have more fun than anyone can stand.
STAY ALERT! TRUST NO ONE! KEEP YOUR LASER HANDY!
FOLLOW ALL MANDATES SO ALPHA COMPLEX WILL WORK PECFERTLY.
In Alpha Complex, The Computer’s underground city of the future, happy citizens follow all mandates. If they don’t, The Computer will be unhappy. This will make the happy citizens unhappy too. Quickly.
THE COMPUTER DID NOT SAY “PECFERTLY.” THE COMPUTER ALWAYS SPEAKS FERPECTLY.
Efficiency auditor Clarence-Y enforces mandates – and he knows them all. By owning a secret pet, the mutant lab mouse Ignatius, Clarence has already broken 22 mandates. And it’s not even lunch.
ATTENTION: REPLACE ALL USES OF “FERPECTLY” WITH “CREFPETLY.” THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION.
On assignment for Internal Security, Clarence impersonates notorious criminal “Superstar Pirate” and infiltrates four treasonous secret societies in one day. All the mandate violations! They’re making his head explode.
No, wait – it’s heavy weaponry. That’s what will explode his head.
“This novel has been tested on non-PARANOIA fans. They enjoyed it immensely and with minimal scarring.” — WJ MacGuffin