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Time of the Fourth Horseman

Written By:Chelsea Quinn Yarbro - 1976

  • Time of the Fourth Horseman - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro cover


Twenty-first century medical science has wiped out all the deadly diseases. Yet in a large American city patients have begun to come in with smallpox, diphtheria and all the other enemies that were supposed to have been defeated forever. No one but the highest government officals are aware that this American city has been chosen as a "moderate" experiment in population control...


"You're really frightened, aren't you?"

For a moment Natalie thought she would scream. A stricken look crossed her face before she answered. "Yes, oh, yes. This is going to be bad."

"How bad?" Harry asked, reserving judgment.

"What they've done... God, what they've done. I ran some tests for my patients down in the lab. I thought they had the old diseases, not this unknown virus the computers were finding. It was like a textbook, the case I saw. It was classic. I tested the vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, cancer, all of them... and about one third are useless. They've been destroyed in random batches. The program started about five years ago, from what I've learned. We're a test area. God knows if there are others. If it works here, they'll try it elsewhere. It's a clandestine government thing. They think it's a great idea. Fair—there's no way to know who gets what, and only one third of the vaccines are nonviable. There's a two-thirds chance that we're fully protected." The sarcasm in her voice gave way to despair. "It's immoral, unethical. I dread what it's going to do to us, and I can't do anything to stop it. But sometimes I wonder... what are we saving them for?"


"...HYPNOTIC." —Frank M. Robinson, co-author of THE GLASS INFERNO