Soft Invasions

Anti-Oedipus Press • 2017
Paperback: 150 • 5 x 8 • $12.99 • ISBN 978-0-9991535-0-5
Kindle: $5.99


Los Angeles, 1942. Psychoanalyst Maxwell McKinney and his wife Joan await the return of their son after the sinking of the USS Yorktown. With sections of the city under camouflage and ordinances against “enemy aliens,” McKinney is troubled by his ambivalent feelings for his son and fears that California will be invaded by the Japanese. A chance encounter with a man who appears to be his double, a screenwriter named Sid Starr, allows McKinney to confront his guilt. Entwined with McKinney, Starr finds that his own identity is at stake, and between the two, McKinney’s wife and son fight against their own destruction.

Punctuating great American fears, James Reich targets the zones of recent history where worlds and anxieties collide, among them UFOs, the Battle of Midway, Hollywood, psychoanalysis and Japanese internment. Soft Invasions is an existential thriller about cowardice, cruelty and betrayal that invokes David Cronenberg's body-horror classics as well as the cold California glamor of Joan Didion, the ominous noir of Horace McCoy and the psychic angst of Norman Mailer.

This edition features an afterword by literary and media theorist Laurence A. Rickels, whose many works include SPECTRE and Germany: A Science Fiction, both available from Anti-Oedipus Press.


"In his exceptionally well-written novel, Soft Invasions, at times lyrical, elegiac, and even mystical, James Reich asks some profound questions about time and identity. This fast-paced book is a meditation on history and human relationships which will keep you thinking and reading to the last page." —MICHAEL MOORCOCK

"The queering of the Oedipus complex in Soft Invasions lifts it into a total psychology." —LAURENCE A. RICKELS, author of Germany: A Science Fiction and Nazi Psychoanalysis

“Reich is a formidable writer. He brings his characters and events to life with cinematic clarity. His eye for detail makes even the familiar seem alien. Above all he gives form to the terrifying invisible nuclear air that envelopes us all." —MALCOLM MCNEILL, author of Observed While Falling

"James Reich writes like a demon." —MARY DEARBORN, author of The Happiest Man Alive: A Biography of Henry Miller and Mailer: A Biography

“Blindingly brilliant and horrifyingly comic.” —THE HUFFINGTON POST

“Like Cormac McCarthy wandering a William Burroughs wasteland while blasting a riot grrrl mixtape on a scavenged Walkman!”
 —S. A. CRARY, director of Kill Your Idols

“Defiant, toothsome, and flaming with color, the voice of James Reich is one of the most exciting to emerge in recent years; he is both something new and something wholly real. If it is possible for a true underground writer to exist anymore, he is that author.”
 —STEPHEN E. ANDREWS, author of 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels


JAMES REICH is the author of three previous novels, Mistah Kurtz! A Prelude to Heart of Darkness (2016), Bombshell (2013) and I, Judas (2011). A member of PEN American Center and the International Association of Crime Writers, he has published fiction and nonfiction in The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Sensitive Skin, International Times, LitroNY, The Weeklings, Fiction Advocate and others. Reich is editor-in-chief of Stalking Horse Press as well as a founding member of the band Venus Bogardus with vinyl and CD releases on independent record labels in the US and UK. Visit him online at