I am trying to remember the author and title of a story encountered 30 or 40 years ago in a science fiction collection, a mystery, which involved a flying house called possibly "Blackmore manor" and a character promoting a loony political philosophy he called "bikeocracy" or "bikocracy" (yes, bicycles). Anyone happen to recall it?

  • FWIW, since the Great Automobile Experiment in the real world has been a massive failure, bike-ocracy is now almost mainstream! Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


This is probably "Confessions" 1970 by Ron Goulart. The intro to the story, in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction says

This latest story is one of Ron Goulart's funniest. It is about mechanical dogs, Woodstock, an airborne house called Blackhawk Manor, Military Pills, Spiro Agnew, naked bicycling, and a giant, shaggy Commando Killer, among many other things.

And there is a bikocracy involved:

"I'm not intimate with everyone who rides a bike," said Prester-Johns. "Possibly I met the young fellow during one of my encounters with our new bikocracy. What does he say?"

The protagonist is Jose Silvera, a freelance writer, who (almost) always eventually gets paid. He's after $2000 he's owed by McLew Scribbley, who owns the floating Blackhawk Manor. (Scribbley has been evading Silvera in part by moving the house about.) Silvera gets in by attaching himself to a friend, Hugo Kohninoor's dinner invitation.

One thing leads to another, and after being assaulted by the butler, bitten by a robot dog and spending the night with a (literally) hot would-be writer of Gothic fiction, Silvera wakes up to find he's one of the suspects in the investigation of his friend's murder.


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