Richard Garrison was once a corporal in the British Military Police, until a terrorist's bomb destroyed his eyesight and his career. Repaying Garrison for saving his wife and child from the blast, millionaire industrialist Thomas Schroeder introduced him to the Psychomech, an amazing machine that could either gift its users with astonishing mental powers - or destroy them utterly.
Having successfully harnessed the Psychomech, Garrison discovered the Psychosphere, a strange plane of existence where mental abilities were all. Thought became intent, word became deed, and Garrison became unto a god.
Two decades later, Garrison is utilising his unique powers to explore the universe. On Earth, his son, Richard Stone, is happily in love, until his beloved falls victim to "The Gibbering", a plague of madness that destroys men and women by destroying their minds. There is no obvious cause. There is no cure. There are no survivors.
When Richard Stone is himself infected by The Gibbering, the mental powers he inherited from his father enable him to defeat the madness, at least for a while. Then, to his horror, Stone discovers that the Psychomech has run amok and that The Gibbering is the result! Even though the insanity it creates batters his struggling mind, Stone realises he is the only man with the knowledge and power capable of destroying the berserker mind-machine.
First published in 1985, this final novel of the Psychomek Trilogy (Psychomek; Psychosphere) features British author Lumley's trademark rapid-fire profusion of characters and horrific events colored with eccentric science. In Lumley's universe, aka the Psychosphere, inventor Richard Garrison's colossal, all-powerful machine, the Psychomech, can alter civilization, bringing the belligerent world into a state of happiness and peace. In particular, the Psychomech (whose mass of tubes, wires and pipes calls to mind a Frank R. Paul illustration for the old Amazing Stories) revives Vicki Maler, hitherto blind and dying of incurable cancer, whom Garrison placed in a cryogenic preservation tank. Unfortunately, the principle of balance, that everything must confront its opposite, eventually kicks in. Thus a lot of people are suddenly reduced to mad gibbering horrors, while Vicki is killed in an auto accident, but this time her body dissolves into a putrescent mess. Garrison, who has absorbed the psyche of others, also dies if only for the moment. Even Garrison's pet Doberman dies, but is restored from the Psychosphere. Villains include religious fanatics Charon Gubwa, a hermaphrodite albino who would be God, and James Christopher Craig, who will settle for less, considering the superfluous last five letters of his middle name. Craig even has his dozen disciples, his power deriving from PSISAC, an aspect of the Psychomech. Lumley's own disciples will relish this peculiarly engrossing mishmash and ask no questions.