EMPTY CITIES OF THE FULL MOON by Howard V. Hendrix

EMPTY CITIES OF THE FULL MOON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Polymath Hendrix (Better Angels, 1999, etc.) posits a polymorphous future for protean readers whose imaginations can pass through any plotline. His phenomenally complex novel opens with the same event occurring in parallel universes in California. In Universe A Prime, Charlie and Grace Drinan die in a drunken car accident and so do not give birth to John Drinan. In Universe A, Charlie and Grace survive, their son is born, and John becomes a spaceman orbiting the Earth in a habitat. It falls through a hole in the sky and enters Universe A Prime, where John did not previously exist and has no family or credit account. Meanwhile, in London, scientist Tomoko Lingham, who has a soft spot for homeless subway crazies, devises a protein that will keep the mentally unbalanced lastingly sane without future medication. Alas, this brings on a ghastly pandemic that wipes out about nine billion people. Left alive are twenty-four million unaltered humans, thirty-six million shape-changing Werfolk, and a few hundred ocean-dwelling mermaids and mermen. Their wars lead to a sea change in human values that points to the Great Death perhaps being transcendentally inspired.

Not for the cerebrally timid but overflowing with gorgeous polyphony.

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2001
ISBN: 0-425-00844-5
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Ace/Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2001




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