PIRATES OF THE UNIVERSE by Terry Bisson

PIRATES OF THE UNIVERSE

KIRKUS REVIEW

 In Bisson's (Voyage to the Red Planet, 1990, etc.) medium/indeterminate-future, the war-torn Earth is depleted of resources, while global warming has distorted climates and actually cooled large parts of a Balkanized and depopulated former North America. Disney-Windows sponsors the Rangers to live in space and capture Peteys, huge objects--creatures?--who appear near the Moon and whose skins, when peeled off and cured, are extremely valuable (though we never learn why). Young Ranger Gun Ryder, who won a lottery to get the job, has earned almost enough to retire to the live-in Florida theme park, Pirates of the Universe, with his childhood sweetheart, Donna. Returning to Florida after a mission, and carrying a mysterious package for his jailed brother Gordon, Gun finds his mail and salary on HOLD; he can't even retreat into his favorite virtual reality scenario. So he journeys home, to Morgan's Ferry on the banks of the swollen, frigid Ohio river, only to find that Gordon has escaped from jail. Here, unfortunately, the plot disintegrates. Gordon is being helped by the gens, beings associated with the Peteys, sort of pocket universes that somehow influence the nanobots controlling Overworld, Disney-Windows's orbiting ex-theme park base. Gordon gets to create a new universe, while the annoyingly passive Gun gets his girl and retires to his anodyne theme park. Stories are Bisson's great strength, and this--despite lots of wonderful parts and his trademark droll, deadpan style--offers no coherent or satisfying whole.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-85412-9
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1996




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