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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews


Copyright 1999 by John Barnes

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Good (3/5)

I first read this in June 2000.

Germany won World War II and have extended their reach across the world. Now, at the close of the 21st Century. Few countries remain independent, and this is only with the indulgence of the Reich.

Lyle Peripart lives in the small ex-patriate community in Auckland, New Zealand, a country still nominally free. Lyle is a professor of astronomy in a local college. He's engaged to married to a lovely lady, Dr Helen Perdida.

It would be a good, indeed a great, world, if not for the Nazis. There are orbiting cities, personal aircraft and superb computer technology.

Lyle's been offered a job by Geoffrey Iphwin, owner of one of the world's most successful companies, ConTech. The salary will be immense but the job requirements are unclear. The job doesn't even require his astronomy skills. Iphywin is interested only in the statistical analysis technique that Lyle developed to assist his astronomical studies.

However, there are be powerful agencies very much against Lyle's employment at ConTech. These agencies are professional, violent and deadly. What's surprising is that they are so ineffective. Indeed, they seem to be suffering from the same malaise that Lyle has recently been noticing about himself and others - that there are things happening in the world that make no physical or logical sense. People, as individuals and groups, are suffering memory losses. It's as though some kind of invisible censorship prevents them even thinking about certain topics. Indeed, most bizarrely, for a community of ex-pat Americans, no one knows what is happening in America. No one knows, talks or communicates with any resident American.

There's clearly something very strange happening to the fabric of reality and Lyle is caught right up in it.

This is a great book. It creates a real sense of wonder. You applaud the inventiveness of the characters as they strive to understand the anomalies of their existence. Lyle's fiance Helen is astounding when her alter ego is suddenly revealed.

Barnes has managed a clever, thought-provoking, thrilling and witty tale. If you haven't read this already, read it now.

Loaded on the 2nd June 2002.
Cover of Finity

Reviews of other works by Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes:
The Return

Reviews of other works by John Barnes:
Orbital Resonance
Mother Of Storms
Kaleidoscope Century
Earth Made Of Glass
The Sky So Big And Black