PRETERNATURAL TOO: GYRE by Margaret Wander Bonanno


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Sequel to Preternatural (1996), Bonanno's playful alien-contact saga wherein midlist science fiction writer Karen Guerrerri

imagines she's being contacted by telepathic group-minded jellyfish called the S.oteri—only to find that it's all true . . . maybe.

This time, fiction and reality become ever more commingled. Karen ponders her review in The New York Times, her

still-impoverished state, and invents (or thinks she does) a rather absurd first contact, a thousand years hence, between humanity

and the S.oteri. The S.oteri, who are developing individualistic tendencies, complain that this wasn't the way it happened. But

then another consciousness, the Third Thing, contacts the S.oteri, offering the gift of telekinesis. Third Thing, however, isn't

entirely sure the S.oteri are ready for this, so the gift goes to just one, Fuchsia, to see what s/he'll do. Fuchsia grabs Karen and

sends her whirling through time into other bodies and personas: in the 11th-century court of Eleanor of England, during the

Crusades; in the first century b.c., as Julius Caesar ravages Gaul; and as the Russians pound 1945 Berlin. Problem is, Fuchsia,

blind to sequential time, somehow manages to change history and doesn't care to remedy matters. And Karen keeps meeting a

wonderful man—he’s in different bodies, but he’s the same man in each historical epoch—who, like her, doesn't belong. Is he,

too, a pawn of the S.oteri, or something even more exotic?

Impressively wrought and wonderfully entertaining, yet not as fraught with significance as some commentators seem to think.

Pub Date: April 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-312-86671-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2000


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