GHOST by Piers Anthony


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This disorganized, purposeless hash of pop psychology, pseudoscience, and childish eroticism has the Anthony name-tag going for it, but little else. On a future Earth desperately short of energy, space captain Shetland is totally out of place, so it is a relief to him when he's chosen to lead an expedition to locate new abundant energy sources. He's given a new experimental time-travel ship and, with a handpicked crew, zooms off into the temporal void. Oriented to distant Earth by a psychic beacon, the ship travels into the far future when matter no longer exists; stars and galaxies have become massless ghosts. When the beacon falters, Shetland must interview each crew member to discover the source of the psychic problem (without the beacon they cannot return to Earth). Inexplicably, chemist Alice commits suicide--but then shows up as a voice-only ghost aboard the ship! Soon after, the ship runs into a ghostly black hole and becomes trapped. The black hole, however, is composed of psychic "ectoplasm" that can be manipulated and transformed by brainpower. At first the crew experiment by building weird animals out of the ectoplasm; but soon the stuff invades the ship, and the crew--having retreated into personal fantasies constructed from ectoplasm--are lost. So it's up to Shetland to reintegrate the crew and save the expedition. What with the outdated, implausible plot that doesn't add up, and the narrative bogged down in trite symbolism and idiotic psychologizing: juvenile gush, as bad as Shade of the Tree (p. 251) was good.
Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1986
ISBN: 0517090287
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1986


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