[full view art]

Lady of Mazes

Karl Schroeder
(288p.) Tor. $24.95
ISBN: 0-765-31219-0

book Cover The ring world of Teven Coronal offers a wide variety of consensual realities, "manifolds", governed by a specific set of technologies. Each offers meaningful, if differing, ways of life for inhabitants. Livia Kodaly's cosmopolitan microcivilzation, Westerhaven, is one of comfort and gentility. Qiingi is a warrior of the Raven people in a manifold with a "noble savage" narrative attuned to the sacredness of living things. Invaders, followers of a mysterious "3340", arrive on Teven and devastate its ways of life by destroying the "tech locks" that enforce the separate realities. Since most people no longer believe in a reality beyond their own, they cannot accept the revelations. Livia, uniquely shaped by a disaster in her childhood, can survive and adapt. She, along with her co-survivor Aaron Varese, and Qiingi leave Teven to seek salvation for their home. Although shaped as an adventurous journey by protagonists who must face a series of unknowns, the novel is also an exploration of the political, social, and personal aspects of the question "How does humanity survive when, due to godlike technological powers, each person can have everything they want?" The insightful Schroeder's answers are fascinating, astonishingly original, and packed with provocative ideas. The science is solid, but like all good stories, it is the human element that makes it a standout tale. And, like the very best speculative fiction, Lady of Mazes is full of debatable points that give it a life beyond its pages.

«more on this book and author»