This curious item paddles furiously over some vast seas of metaphysical thought--unfortunately over-ballasted with atrophied characters and glutinous prose: "". . .fear now enveloped him unmercifully."" Ten-year-old Amy, an eerie little being, has been trained by her scientist/metaphysician father, Klane, to exercise exquisite mind control. When he becomes convinced that she has a brain tumor, Klane fully supports Amy in her plan to shrivel it herself by arterial constriction. But well-meaning state agencies move in and dictate ""life-saving"" surgery, and Amy's mind (or soul) is removed along with the tumor, leaving her an ordinary ten-year-old schnook. Klane directs the vestigial Amy to kill herself, and it is at Klane's trial for murder that the matter of the existence of the soul is explored (if Amy's soul was gone, she was already dead) by scientists, a theologian, and the appearance of a chimp. All very deep stuff, but what's brought to the surface is some fancy, rather addled speculation about the holy (or artificial?) barriers between man and beast. At the close, ""dead"" Klane--now whirring away as a machine--is done in by an electric storm. If pop metaphysics am your game, there are a few sparks in the courtroom dialogue; otherwise. . . bzzzt.