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Book Review

Book Cover



Author: Douglas Thompson
Elsewhen Press
RRP: £9.99, US $15.99
ISBN: 978 1 908168 05 4
Available 03 November 2012

2180 and finally humanity has been freed from the confines of the home solar system with the invention of the Entanglement, a method which leaves the original astronauts asleep on Earth while their consciousness inhabits a duplicate copy on an alien world...

Entanglement is a new, full length, science fiction novel by Douglas Thompson. The word, in its present connotation, was first used by Erwin Schrödinger, when describing the correlation between two distinct particles, which best describes the way that the astronauts get to new planets.

In the novel it denotes the way that astronauts are replicated on far away planets, identical bodies to which they transfer their minds. The two bodies are interconnected, what happens to one will happen instantaneously to the other, regardless of the number of light years which separate them. This also means the sleeping bodies can reawaken on Earth allowing the travellers to return home for visits, a kind of travelling without moving.

Split into twenty-four chapters, the majority of the chapters detail individual investigations of alien planets and their inhabitants, which are shot through with a subplot involving the program's administrators. In this way it works as both a collection of short stories as well as a novel with an overall story arc.

A couple of the chapters have been published as short stories, but the main bulk of the book is original work. The format has allowed Thompson's imagination free range, which he uses to good effect.

Any reader of Thompson's work will already be prepared for a multi-layered experience, as each story illuminates as much about the human condition in all its glory and hubris as it does the varied and imaginative alien environments. The book represents as much a philosophical discussion on the human condition as it does enthralling science fiction.

As each planet is visited some of man's most cherished concepts about himself are challenged by the diversity of life in the universe, where death is not necessarily the final end. Thompson postulates various arguments to challenge humanities idea of itself in creation, without ever becoming preachy.

Shot through with a dry wit Entanglement is well worth picking up.


Charles Packer

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