THE ELEVEN MILLION MILE HIGH DANCER by Carol Hill

THE ELEVEN MILLION MILE HIGH DANCER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hill, who dished up an energetic, half-entertaining surrealism-stew a decade or so ago (Let'S Fall in Love, 1974), is up to similar tricks in this hectic, dated, rather pretentious fantasy--which mixes together a cartoonish superwoman fable, a Star Wars-y sci-fi adventure, and a narrative illustration of some of the mysteries of quantum physics. Andrea Jaworski is the first American female astronaut slated to travel to Mars--much to the dismay of a few of her bosses. Andrea's more than a match for them, however: she's brilliant, sexy, and sentimental; she's lavishly devoted to her narcoleptic cat Schr"dinger (whose name is the novel's chief physics pun); she's fearlessly impulsive in love--dallying with both fellow-scientist Hotchkiss and dangerously attractive (but unreliable) pilot Bronco McCloud. But suddenly, on the eve of Andrea's Mars-flight, very odd things begin happening on earth: an Indian tribe disappears; Schr"fdinger starts learning to draw pictures of Andrea's feet; natural catastrophes proliferate; another astronaut returns from his space-flight with a mysterious case of mental evisceration. Then, when Schr"dinger soon also vanishes, off into another dimension, Andrea goes after him--thanks to an anti-matter device given her by a boy-genius. And the rest of the novel features Andrea's quest for her cat (with Hotchkiss in pursuit), as well as extraterrestrial contests against the G.C.B. (""Great Cosmic Brain"") and warring robots--with all of these adventures leading up to the sorely tested Andrea's ultimate victory. (The loudly self-congratulatory finale attributes Andrea's triumph to her ""Female Principle Rising,"" with its ""tolerance for ambiguities."") In sum: too much a hybrid, too telegraphed in its moves, too transparent in its sympathies--and only for readers with an overlapping passion for both sf-fantasy and feminiSt comic-strips. (See Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus--1984, p. 1105--for a feminist fantasy of far greater originality, style, and subtlety.)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1985
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston