In Other Worlds

by A. A. Attanasio
Series: Radix Tetrad 2
Reviewed date: 2005 Jul 5
Rating: 2
211 pages
cover art

Carl Schirmer spontaneously combusts--or more accurately, catches light--and find himself transported to the Werld, a free-fall world reminiscient of Larry Niven's The Integral Trees and The Smoke Ring. He discovers that he's been transported to the Werld by an eld skyle, a five-dimensional being. The eld skyle sends Carl off to live in the Werld for a bit, but then snatches him back and demands that Carl return to Earth and fetch 3.5 tonnes of pig manure, which the eld skyle needs to balance its ecology. The eld skyle arms Carl with a light lance, sends him back to Earth (but not the Earth he came from, an Earth in a different time stream where the second world war never happened), and tells him not to come back without the pig manure.

It's a dumb book. It's not exactly fantasy because Attanasio keeps bandying about mathematics in an attempt to convince the reader that what he writes could actually occur, but he's not fooling anyone with his fancy numbers. It's fantasy that's ruined by his attempt to explain it via science. Plus, the plot is really dumb, and the characters--especially Carl--are not particularly interesting. We're just not sympathetic to their plight--certainly not to Carl's, whose only objective back on Earth (besides grabbing the pig manure and running home to the Werld) seems to be to steal money and make a mess of Earth.

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