Did She Offer Humanity Hope—or Hellfire?
Who was the mysterious sex therapist known only as "Madam Ninon"?
"A breakthrough science fiction classic whose exploration of humanity's sexual mores bares comparison with Candide and Stranger in a Strange Land." —Jean Marie Stine, author, Season of the Witch.
Science fiction writer and satirist Larry Maddock's lost masterpiece. Written contemporaneously with Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, it shares uncanny parallels with that more famous tome. In Madam Ninon, a naïf encounters a messianic figure who teaches her followers to engage in freer sex as a means to become fully human.
Released a few months after Stranger, Madame Ninon was not merely overshadowed by Heinlein's success, it was unnoticed, even among the author's own circle of writers and artists. The original paperback's microscopic printing and the fact that it was distributed by a small publisher to a handful of adult bookstores—for an audience who can hardly have been interested in the author's intricate meditations on midcentury sexual conventions and inhibitions—further ensured the resounding silence that greeted its publication.
Yet Madame Ninon is just the kind of novel which Larry Maddock—Agent of T.E.R.R.A. author, science fictioneer, sexologist, and social critic that he was—might have been expected to write.
Inspired by the author's reading of the life and writings of 17th century courtesan Madam Ninon De Lenclos, whose legendary "School of Gallantry" taught the arts of love to the young men and women of France, the book's pungent verbal duels offer the perfect vehicle for Larry Maddock's private speculations on sex and sexuality.