Pyr Books, April 2015
Sometimes, today’s science fiction becomes tomorrow’s reality. In the case of Superposition, I sincerely hope not.
When physicist Brian Vanderhall shows up one winter night at Jacob Kelley’s home, they haven’t seen each other since Jacob quit his job at the New Jersey Super Collider. And when an excited and distraught Brian shoots Elena, Jacob’s wife, in demonstration of his momentous discovery, trouble looms. It turns out Elena is not harmed as the bullet passes right through her, a phenomenon due to a previously unknown probability wave. Jacob slugs Brian and runs him off, but that is not the end of things.
Unfortunately, the discovery is fraught with inconceivable hazards. A new species, which Brian calls the varcolac, is brought forth by the wave and proves to be violent, super strong, and dangerous. They can split into many versions, and worst of all, they can cause everyone else to split, too. Which is exactly what happens when Jacob goes to check on Brian at the NJSC. There he finds Brian dead, murdered. Jacob and his friend, Marek, who has gone there with him, are attacked by varcolacs and barely escape. Yet, a bit later, Brian shows up in the car, very much alive. The split, it turns out, creates two of the same person. And when the varcolac follow Jacob home, they kill one version of his family, while the other version escapes and disappears.
The police bring one Jacob to trial for Brian’s murder, even as the second Jacob searches for the murderer, his missing family, and the end of the varcolacs.
If this sounds confusing, it kind of is, especially if one isn’t up on probability waves and physics. I must confess I soon spotted the murderer, but there are no spoilers in this review. I’ll leave the next reader to it. The book is well-written, with well fleshed out characters, and moves right along. I can’t stop without mentioning the author has invented a terrific new product. I think Smartpaper is right on the horizon.
Reviewed by Carol Crigger, September 2015.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.