Latest in the Giants’ Star series.
Hogan (Martian Knightlife, 2001, etc.) begins with a long, dry and almost impenetrable summary of the series’ backstory. The main narrative opens on Earth, where Dr. Victor Hunt, deputy director of physics for the UNSA (the successor to NASA) receives a call on his cell phone . . . from himself. Or, rather, from a version of himself who inhabits a parallel universe. He quickly realizes that only the Thuriens, giant inhabitants of the planet Minerva, can help him understand the exchange of information between two different universes. So an expedition from Earth is sent to Minerva, including senior UNSA scientist Christian Danchekker and his cousin Mildred, a liberal Australian political scientist Danchekker didn’t at all want to spend more time with. After a quick journey, the scientists find themselves involved in exploring the nature of the Multiverse, in which all possible variations on our world coexist. Various paradoxical events begin to occur as they set up the powerful Thurien machine meant to explore the problem. They eventually realize that alternate versions of themselves are emerging into the current reality, interacting with them, and then returning to their own world lines, unaware that anything strange has occurred. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the FBI is after Hunt for having dropped an insider trading hint to one of his friends based on information learned from his alternate self. Hogan plays interesting games with ideas from the cutting edge of physics, but his characters are predominantly mouthpieces and his plot moves at a glacial pace.
For die-hard fans only.