IN OTHER WORLDS by A. A. Attanasio


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Messy, overreaching weirdness from the author of the flawed but zesty Radix (1981). Balding, middle-aged bar owner Carl Shirmer turns into a super-energetic photon and is transported into a black hole, 130 billion years from now; inside the black hole is a bubble, the ""Werld,"" where life exists on large rocks floating in a gravity-less, air-filled void. What's going on? Well, Carl has been summoned by a godlike being, the ""eld skyle""--a gigantic blob of jello who confers immortality and a splendidly muscular new body on Carl. . . and arranges for him to fall in love with the beautiful Evoe, one of the human ""Foke"" who inhabit the Werld. But then Evoe is captured by the spider-like alien ""zotl,"" who take nourishment from the pain they cause their victims. Will the skyle help Carl rescue Evoe? Yes, indeed. But in return Carl must go back to Earth and fetch three and a half tons of pig dung (the skyle needs it to renovate its metabolism); and since, while Carl's on Earth, other creatures (including the zotl) will be able to slip through the transporter, Carl is given assorted weapons and numerous injunctions, with a long way to go before he wins his girl. Inventive, but hopelessly overcomplicated and curiously unappealing--with wild swings between portentous, earnest pulp adventure and deadpan, not-quite-funny comic-nonsense.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1984
Publisher: Morrow