sci-fi novel recommendation
Read a description of a sci-fi novel called "Why Do Birds" by Damon Knight that's recently been reprinted. The premise made me seek it out, and I finished it in one night. Extremely fun, fascinating absurdist sci-fi. Shades of Vonnegut, Pynchon, and Stanislaw Lem.
Summary via Cory Doctorow at Pluralistic.net: "In 2002, a mysterious man is arrested for illegally occupying a hotel room: he says his name is Ed Stone, and that he was kidnapped by aliens from the same hotel room in 1931 and has just been returned to Earth, not having aged a day.
The aliens have told him that Earth will be destroyed in 12 years and that before then, the entire human race has to put itself in a giant box (presumably for transport to somewhere else, though Ed is a little shaky on the details).
To help Ed with this task, the aliens have given him a ring that makes anyone who touches it fill with overwhelming good feelings for him and a desire to help him."