From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- In Cities of the Red Night there is still subplot involving B-23, a mysterious disease caused by a radioactive virus, causing sexual delirium, spontaneous ejaculation of infectious radioactive semen, and death. Addiction to opiates provides some resistance to it.
- Written before news of the AIDS epidemic had become widely known, Burroughs writes with prophetic intuition of a sexually transmitted virus. In what is partly a detective story, partly sci-fi, characters debate "the wisdom of introducing Virus B-23 into contemporary America and Europe. Even though it might quiet the uh silent majority, who are admittedly becoming uh awkward, we must consider the biologic consequences." Of course, for Burroughs, this is also a human virus. "The whole quality of human consciousness, as expressed in male and female, is basically a virus mechanism." 
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