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Literature / Kronk

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Kronk, originally released as Son of Kronk is a 1970 Dystopia novel by Edmund Cooper. The protagonist, Gabriel Crome, book artist, is sharing a bottle of vodka with a raven and contemplating suicide when he has the opportunity to save the life of Camilla Greylaw who has similarly arrived to commit suicide. After convincing her to give life a chance, he learns that her scientist husband has infected her with a virus named P939 which is a sexually-transmitted disease that removes all aggression from those it infects. They eventually decide that it is their destiny to spread this disease among the world and thereby bring about world peace.

Between the government trying to reclaim their lost research, a pair of identical twin double agents named the Karamazov Brothers, roaming gangs of scholars, the media, and a growing desire to never leave the house, they soon discover that their quest will not be nearly so simple.

Has nothing to do with Yzma's lackey from The Emperor's New Groove.


  • Apocalypse How: Headed toward a Class 2. P939 removes aggression, but also removes much of human drive and recipients often commit suicide after contemplating just how much pain they've caused in their life. And, in a few generations, the remaining bits of humanity are likely to tear each other apart.
  • Bookends: The book begins and ends with Gabriel sharing vodka with the raven.
  • Corrupt Church: All churches have been taken over by the state religion, Romaprot, which operates God Machine confessionals that funnel all confessions to the government's ears.
  • Dystopia: The world of Kronk has roaming bands of murderous "pre-pubes", gangs of scholars, and bounty hunters who swoop down on car wrecks to grab the organs of any occupants not able to resist. The media acts as a law of its own, staging crimes to get footage for their reality show, the police will charge and brutalize anyone involved in a crime, including the victims, and religion is computerized and controlled by the State. A sexually-transmitted Peace Disease gets introduced, and everything goes to Hell...
  • Emotion Bomb: P939 includes a "prommy" stage of a few weeks where the recipients are obsessed with sex and seek to spread the virus.
  • Hate Plague: A side effect of P939 is that, 3-4 generations down the line, the pent-up aggression releases itself in this form. Today, it's rabbits. In a few decades, if they don't die before then, it will be the humans.
  • Love Potion: Insex. Possession of it alone can get you a sentence of Attempted Rape, but it's nonetheless readily available on the street.
  • Organ Theft: "Bounty Hunters" swoop down on car crashes, looking for living victims who can't resist the theft of their organs. Technically speaking, you can opt out of organ donation, but it requires a complicated government procedure that most people are unaware of.
  • Shout-Out: Gabriel Crome is named after "Crome Yellow" of Brave New World.
  • Title Drop: "Kronk" is the only thing that the raven says.