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PRETERNATURAL³ by Margaret Wander Bonanno Kirkus Star

PRETERNATURAL³

By Margaret Wander Bonanno

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-312-87760-9
Publisher: Tor

Third in the—trilogy? maybe—featuring SF writer Karen Rohmer Guerreri, who, at first, imagined she was being contacted by telepathic jellyfish called S.oteri, only to find that it was true (Preternatural, 1996) and then dreamed up another alien race who could travel through tunnels in space and time (Preternatural Too: Gyre, 2000). This time, Karen's heavily involved with an alien named Govannon, whom she met during a previous adventure in the time of Julius Caesar. Through shortcuts in space-time called Gats, Govannon and his ilk can share the lives and memories of other species. But Govannon, unfortunately, has become stranded on Earth, sharing several lives simultaneously; worse, the rest of his race seems to have vanished. Karen can visit his home planet, Relic, but Govannon can't fully materialize there. So, in the Museum, a building that remembers the history of Govannon's race, Karen must invent the story of Govannon and his travels in the hope that she'll set everything to rights and allow Govannon to rediscover himself. One part of the story focuses on Anna Bower, an art historian who may or may not be the illegitimate daughter of infamous Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels, and thus becomes the target of kidnap attempts by various neo-Nazi groups; meanwhile . . . . Multiple stories, multiple times, multiple lives, not to mention an omniscient author and her acerbic asides (re publishers and editors, not merely biting the hand that feeds her, but gnawing off entire arms), knowing commentaries, self-references, and SF/fantasy criticism.

An existential tour-de-force by any standard.