A FOLD IN THE TENT OF THE SKY by Michael Hale

A FOLD IN THE TENT OF THE SKY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The universe reels in this perfectly titled debut novel as a group of psychics gathers to help the government, and one of them starts altering the present by stripping the past. Peter Abbott, an actor of little promise but of huge psychic talent, is bought out of his stage contract by Calliope Associates, a clandestine group of psychics assembled to gather information available through no other source but the third eye. Then he’s shipped to the Caribbean, where Calliope trains new members in OBEs (out-of-body experiences), remote viewing, and psychometry (reading objects by touch). Also on hand are Pamela Gilford, who can sight-read the immediate future by looking at someone; Simon Hayward, who alters the present by will power and erases the past by preventing someone’s conception; Larry McEwan, who can project images onto film; Gordon Quarendon, a dowser, or water diviner; and Ron Koch, whose skills include reading the Racing Form for winners. Their training supervisor, Mike Blenheim, has them study a photograph taken in 1843, a second copy of which has recently appeared with an added figure dressed in later-styled clothes. How does the universe heal itself of such time-paradoxes? Ron Koch soon oscillates between two probabilities in his lifeline, implodes, and leaves a gap in the group. Few members remember him as the universe zips up its loss. Simon diverts Linda Kasabian from murdering Sharon Tate, who makes a long list of movies. He smothers Quarendon as a baby in his crib, erasing him from the breakfast table before Peter’s eyes—and no one else remembers him. Then Simon zaps Larry—no more Larry. Then Anita Spalding, psychic detective, vanishes. Then Pam becomes only a vague after-image on Peter’s mind. Simon has his losses, too, as his beloved Beatles’ albums—and Madonna—vanish in the rewired universe. Then Simon goes after Peter’s mother back in 1962. Well-written and absorbing, although the psi research is overly familiar.

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 1998
ISBN: 0-688-15757-2
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1998