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CHI by Alexander Besher


by Alexander Besher

Pub Date: July 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-684-83088-4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Conclusion, so we—re told, to Besher’s cult quasi-trilogy: each book has a slightly different backdrop and a few characters in common. The Chinese energy flow, chi—here correlated with similar concepts ranging from outright mysticism to particle physics—boosts creativity, sexual prowess, and vitality. In Bangkok, the 650-lb. transsexual Wing Fat, already rich from his chi slave farms, stumbles upon a new, more powerful source of the energy. It’s associated with the mysterious Dr. Chi, possibly the first of a new, superior race. Things get started here when British writer Paul Sykes intercepts a microchip that gives access to an organic interspecies VR network, and, wanting to learn more, he heads for Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, a VR butterfly appears across large parts of China: Under its influence, people grow less violent and anxious. VR gumshoe Frank Gobi (Hero of Rim, 1994) and his wife Tara suspect the involvement of elusive pheromone chemist Terry Jordan. When Sykes arrives, he finds he can see a black sun VR icon; more, he now has green eyes and can perceive people invisible to everyone else! He’s befriended by Trevor, son of Frank (Mir, 1998), who has the same perceptions and green eyes. After various complications, including a prospective battle between the human/orangutan White Saga and the fearsome water buffalo Stone Age Steak, more butterfly appearances, and a mutinous talking elevator, Trevor reveals all. Plenty of jokes and many fine fragments, but baggy, shapeless, and meandering overall: for ardent admirers only.