This short cerebral, mind-bending fable whisks you through the golden 1960’s years of science fiction, while delving into a heavy philosophical take on whether we’re all just memories echoing and trapped within black holes. And yes, you have to work hard to follow along.
Delia grows up on a remote sea island and infused with a love of mathematics. Fast forward to London 2001, and Delia has married mathematician Levi who hopes to make sense of the universe. Levi goes off in search of a mythical and obscure 1962 sci-fi novel Lode Stars, as he thinks it holds the answers he’s seeking for his mathematical proof. Delia hires a book dealer with vast literary acumen, but who also suffers from face-blindness, to find Levi. Daniel as he embarks on his quest gets kidnapped by Oskar, a dangerous Russian gangster and fellow book collector looking for a copy of the book.
But the story hinges Eugene Charles Hartley, the author of Lode Stars, who believes all of humanity is just smart memories trapped in black holes, and at risk from predators known as “Eaters” who gobble up these sentient memories – unless you happen to have a copy of Lode Stars as protection. Along the way, Hartley blends all of this into a religion: The Church of the All-Seeing Eyes, before Hartley himself vanishes. In the book within a book, another Delia searches for her missing father in a distant star.
All this mind-bending plot, and revisiting of vintage Sci-Fi, boils down to a philosophical and existential questioning of why humanity has come to exist at all. An eclectic, original read.
Thanks to Tachyon Publications and NetGalley for an Advanced Reader’s Copy.