Monday, June 27, 2005


Another New Review

This one from The Seattle Times, part of an overview of recent alternate history titles, including Jon Courtenay Grimwood's Pashazade and Ben Jeapes's The New World Order.

The reviewer, Nisi Shawl, has this to say:

With Chris Roberson's "Here, There & Everywhere" (Prometheus, 285 pp., $25) we come to the place where alternate history and science fiction completely overlap.

Replete with references to Visser wormholes and Wheeler's "many-worlds" theory, "Everywhere" illustrates one way of resolving the paradoxes inherent in time travel. There are millions upon millions of possible worlds, and you can visit the past or future of any of them — except your own.

Roberson's heroine, Roxanne Bonaventure, a scientist's daughter, discovers an odd artifact while walking in the woods one day. It looks like a bracelet, but when she slips it on her wrist, it acts to take her into what she comes to call "the Myriad." The worlds within the Myriad include the Mesozoic, the year 30,000 B.C., the fictional lives of Sherlock Holmes and Elizabeth Bennett, or anywhere else she desires to go. An introductory section in which a reporter catches her changelessly cruising through decades of Beatlemania explains the book's title as well as the reason for the chapter headings ("Day Tripper," etc.), but does nothing to make the book cleave together as a whole.

And Roxanne's musings on her failure to find an enduring feminist-Utopianist timeline ("In the vast majority of instances ... the only power that men possessed was simply that which the women allowed them to have") make it obvious that Roberson-via-Roxanne is not speaking for any victims of rape who may read this book. He does, however, provide an intriguing glimpse into the twists and turns of one of science fiction's favorite forms.


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