Copyright 1999 by
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
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.