Thursday, February 10, 2011

All the Lives He Led-Frederik Pohl

All the Lives He Led
Frederik Pohl
Tor, Apr 12 2011, $25.99
ISBN 9780765321763

By 2079, the once proud and mighty United States remains devastated from the massive Yellowstone eruption several decades ago. Brad Sheridan enlists for overseas assignment as an indentured servant; this is his only means to escape the American refugee camps. He is assigned to work on Italy's two millennia celebration of the volcanic destruction of Pompeii by Mount Vesuvius.

Tourists flock to the volcano to take part in the gala. The visitors enjoy real and virtual entertainments. Ben performs minor cons including romances on the naive. However, he soon finds himself at ground zero of a horrific terrorist plot greater than the Yellowstone natural disaster that ended the American domination.

Nonagenarian Science Fiction Grand Master Frederick Pohl provides an exciting futuristic thriller that extrapolates from the recent global economic meltdown into how tenuous the threads of the world’s economy are as natural and terrorist events can prove pandemic. Fast-paced, Ben is an antihero thrust into something he wants nothing to do with. Though he is not quite as developed as the Pohl world setting, readers will appreciate this exhilarating thought provoking late twenty-first century tale.

Harriet Klausner

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