John C. Wright
Tor, May 2008, $25.95
Being a dual brained, Gilbert Gosseyn does not fear death because when he dies he wakes up in a new body with his previous lives recalled. However, what he does not know but wants to know are his origins, why the Chessplayer uses him like an expendable pawn, and who the woman is who visits him in his dreams is.
He investigates all three using his ability to telepath great distances with a thought. However, he has to put aside his personal inquiries when he learns of a plot to destroy Earth and Venus by diabolical Enro the clairvoyant dictator who wants to expand his vast empire. Enro’s prime ally is Gilbert’s previously unknown third brain.
This is clearly paying homage to the late great A.E. van Vogt and it pays for the reader to have read THE WORLD OF NULL-A and THE PLAYERS OF NULL-A to better understand the somewhat convoluted yet complex story line. The above reflects a small segment of all that is going on with detailed clarifications embellished by even deeper revelations. Though not easy to follow and no character even Gilbert hooks the reader as the dissertations supersede the players, Mr. van Vogt is smiling in science fiction heaven.