Michael Offutt's debut science-fiction novel Slipstream, is a fascinating blend of hard science, mythology, theology and futuristic technologies that had me turning the pages late into the night.
Jordan Pendragon is an emancipated teenager living in Utah with his sister Kate. He excels at school especially in physics and math, is a star hockey player, and his good looks has all the schoolgirls trying for his affection. But his world slowly starts to fall apart after a car accident that puts him in the hospital. He sees things he can't explain, finds a strange device, and meets an Englishman named Kolin. When danger threatens Jordan's life and those around him, he opens a gateway with his awakening ability to manipulate space-time. Together, Jordan, Kate and Kolin are transported to a parallel world called Avalon, Kolin's home.
Avalon, a reflection of Earth that sits in a different dimension, was at one time a thriving civilization. But, the detonation of the first atomic bomb on Earth sent a rippling effect through the thin membrane that separates the two worlds bringing Avalon civilization to the brink of extinction. But a failsafe had been created in the event such a thing would occur. It was called the A.I. and it secured the survival of mankind by building walled futuristic mega-cities. Unfortunately, the cities aren't perfect and the humans of Avalon are living in a post-apocalyptic/cyberpunk world. Life dealers, juicers, vamps, succubi and monsters infect the cities in the pursuit of Green Life, just to name a few. And as the A.I slowly descends into insanity, things in Avalon get worse. Jordan's life and role in this crisis becomes paramount as he learns the reason why he and his sister were brought to Avalon.
One of the many strengths in this book is the authors ability to draw on hard science to make his science-fiction work. Combined with an intriguing story line, detailed action sequences, killsuits, living glass spiders, robots, bullet bikes, and a budding romance between Kolin and Jordan, I was turning the pages long past my bedtime. The richly diverse cast of characters and his strong-minded and gutsy sister Kathy, were also strong elements to the story. Will Jordan have the courage and strength to succeed in restoring balance in a world gone mad? Is he the key to ending a crisis of not one, but two worlds? If you enjoy science-fiction, you'll enjoy Slipstream and I'll be looking forward to the release of Michael Offutt's Book Two: Oculus.
|Slipstream spiders, they're real and tried to come after me while I was reading! Also, I want a puma now.|