The books of Golden Age great A.E. van Vogt (1912-2000) inspired Wright (Fugitives of Chaos, 2006, etc.) to pen this authorized sequel to The World of Null-A and The Players of Null-A.
The background will be familiar to all van Vogt fans. Gilbert Gosseyn is serially immortal—if killed, he wakes, memories intact, in a duplicate body. Not only does Gosseyn not know his origins, but he’s being manipulated by an unseen cosmic “Chessplayer” for purposes unknown. And he has two brains: the second can control energy and teleport him vast distances. While attempting to find out who he is and why he’s being manipulated, Gosseyn defends Earth and Venus against an interstellar plot, then halts the invasion plans of precognitive, clairvoyant dictator Enro the Red’s galactic empire. Among Wright’s contributions: Gosseyn discovers that he has a third brain; that there's an insane version of himself cooperating with dictator Enro; that the identity of the Chessplayer is in question; and that the woman implanted in his memories, perhaps Enro’s sister, may also be immortal. Van Vogt would have reveled in such dialogue as: “Does he know that an extra-dimensional superbeing called the Ydd is using him to destroy the continuum?” The enterprise culminates in such preposterously magnificent intricacy and density that even the elucidations of the explications require explanations.
Must have been as much fun to write as it is to read.