Saturday, September 29, 2007

Selling Out-Justina Robson

Selling Out
Justina Robson
PYR, Oct 2007, $15.00
ISBN: 9781591025979

By 2021, the Quantum Bomb changes the universe by creating six interlinked realities. Earth no longer exists as we knew it; now called Otopia magic works where sprites, ghosts and other formerly paranormal species exist. A third realm Alfheim contains elves, who have forged a shaky alliance with the residence of Otopia. Other realities include Zoomenon consisting of Elementals; Daemonia home to magical adept demons; Thanatopia, the “land of the dead” in which no living human has ever returned after a visit and Faery, a fun tourist trap.

Her handlers and superiors, fearing the fragile peace between realms may be breaking, assign twenty-one years old super secret agent Lila Black, as much artificial intelligent metal as human, to learn more about rebellious royal fairy Zal. The Otopia leadership fears Zal without being aware that he and Lila are dating because she hides her relationship from her employers. Somehow Zal has done the impossible to himself when he altered his e essence to add other magicks found only in Alfheim and Daemonia, destroying a delicate balance.

Although SELLING OUT can stand alone, to better understand the six realms, especially their interrelationships, alliances, and discords, readers should read book one of the Quantum Gravity saga, KEEPING IT REAL. The first book introduced readers to the realms, but mostly through the residents of Otopia where almost the entire book occurs; this time the audience visits Daemonia and Zoomenon while also learning how Zal and Lila got to where they both are super changed beings. Though darker in scope (hell - we are on the demon realm), Justina Robson provides a strong entry that continues to establish the physics of her multiverse.

Harriet Klausner

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