Books by Paul Preuss

SECRET PASSAGES by Paul Preuss
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

Contemporary science fictiontinged novel featuring some of the characters from Broken Symmetries (1983), thankfully without that yarn's overwrought melodrama. Following an acrimonious divorce, Anne-Marie Brand finds that her ex, Charlie, has gained custody of their son Carlos; she has a daughter, Jenny, by her current beau, physicist Peter Slater—who's struggling to formulate a new approach to quantum theory. Anne-Marie's problem is that Carlos isn't actually Charlie's son but her brother Alain's, the result of a savage rape. A dealer in ancient artifacts, Alain agrees to admit to Carlos's paternity, but in return Anne-Marie must inquire of the Cretan archaeologist and physicist Manolis Minakis the source of his stunning collection of Minoan artifacts. Surprisingly, Manolis opens up to Anne-Marie, telling her his complicated life story, even showing her the cave where he found the artifacts. Manolis also hints to Peter that he's found a way to reverse time in a small, limited way. After Manolis dies in the earthquake that seals the cave forever, Peter uses the old man's time-reversing device to reconstruct a picture of Manolis's mother- -and finally Anne-Marie understands the full Greek tragedy of Manolis's life and why he was so willing to help her. Impressive, low-key, resonant, with a fascinating Cretan backdrop and life-sized characters: Preuss's best outing so far. Read full book review >
CORE by Paul Preuss
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 20, 1993

Maybe-here-and-now yarn about a project to drill a hole down to the Earth's core in order to study the source of the planet's magnetic field, which is breaking down and wobbling about and threatening to cause all sorts of disasters. From the author of Starfire, Human Error, etc. In the embers of the first atomic explosion at White Sands during WW II, Cyrus Hudder discovers an extraordinary new crystal, harder than diamond, impossible to melt. Cyrus has long dreamed of drilling down to the Earth's core; now, if he lines the hole with ``hudderite,'' the idea seems feasible. Eventually, however, having screwed up his life, Cyrus disappears, an apparent suicide. Fortunately, Leidy, Cyrus's estranged son, shares his dream; so Leidy teams up with researcher Marta McDougal for years of experiments and fund-raising in order to get the project underway. Cyrus, meanwhile, has been recruited by a mysterious oil company to engineer a deep hole in great secrecy somewhere in the Middle East. Just as Leidy's hole reaches the core, Cyrus discovers that he's been working for Arabs whose real purpose is to wipe Israel off the map by triggering monster earthquakes. Notwithstanding the inherent improbability of any such material as hudderite: a fascinating scientific-technical spectacle, and never mind the tepid romancing, humdrum father-son clashes, and generally creaky plot. Read full book review >