Sunday, May 27, 2012

Broken Universe-Paul Melko

Broken Universe

Paul Melko

Tor, Jun 5 2012, $27.99

ISBN 9780765329141

John Rayburn has come a long way since John Prime gave him the technology to cross into alternate realities (see The Walls of the Universe). With friends and their doppelgangers from among the Johns, Graces, Henrys, and Caseys, Rayburn builds a cross-realty corporation Pinball Wizards Transuniversal to trade products from one realm to another.

However the entrepreneur’s vision differs from many of his associates as he wants to improve mankind’s lot across the realities while others focus on the bottom line. He learned when he accidently invented “pinball”, literally cutthroat competitors will do anything to eliminate rivals and in his case also want his technology. The CEO anticipated the external deadly business adversaries especially from stranded cross-travelers, but John is unprepared for betrayal from within as he personally selected his team from among buddies. Forgetting one of the golden rules that of it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck it still may be a vulture capitalist from another reality. With friends like this he will not need to worry about enemies and then there is a need for investment money so he turns to venture capitalist John Prime, who beat a murder rap.

The second Rayburn parallel universe science fiction thriller is an exciting tale as the hero learns some hard, potentially deadly, lessons about life across the realities. The storyline is fast-paced with a satirical look at global capitalism; where there is apparently no room for an idealist amidst a multi Broken Universe of bottom feeding leeches.

Harriet Klausner

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