In Thomassen’s unwieldy sci-fi debut, technology goes berserk and threatens to enslave the human race.
On the brink of an invention capable of changing the world forever, a British “doctor-engineer in the field of energy safety,” Roger Hamlock, dies in a head-on collision while driving his Ford Tacoma to work. At first, he thinks it’s just a dream, but when he encounters an otherworldly female presence, or “Watcher,” named Pantha Maria, he begins an adventure to find his killers, part of a worldwide mafia, led by “His Holiness BIG Pa, the Millennium Dragon, Antichrist personified,” seeking to control the world by brainwashing the human race. Reincarnated in the body of a Norwegian infant named Roger Amundsen, Roger grows up to study astrophysics and, at the age of 25, sets out to fulfill his mission to destroy Holochryne, a holographic cyborg intent on annihilating mankind through World War III. From an abyss below the Caribbean island of Cram, the “transparent house-sized robot” controls BIG Pa and the marauding armies of the Moogoo Empire, led by Yuk Chow and the general of New Russia. Joined in his battle by a “supergroup of well-trained clairvoyants,” Roger journeys through this dreamlike world, “dead as a salted herring,” and learns the true meaning of life. Woven through his winding tale of redemption are reflections on the true identity of UFOs, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, “Christ consciousness” and the Holy Spirit as an “information channel.” Thomassen balances precariously between derivative sci-fi and Christian dogma. Numerous characters are introduced; many turn out to be irrelevant, many simply confusing. The narrator detracts from the plot by engaging in supremely complex subjects. Acknowledging the abundance of scientific jargon, his own fantastic creations and endless religious references, Thomassen provides a detailed 9-page glossary. “Physical reality is a form of virtual reality,” one character wisely observes. “You cannot see the quantum soup” that holds everything together. Perhaps that’s Thomassen’s main problem: He fails to establish at least one reality for the reader to believe in.
The Matrix meets Dante’s Inferno in an overloaded (Holy) ghost story.