- File Size: 2611 KB
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Steve Heller Publishing; 1 edition (May 24, 2018)
- Publication Date: May 24, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07D994VRQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,835 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Fractal Man Kindle Edition
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This story creates a delightful twist on time travel. Albaugh and Konrad change the trajectory of their lives with this buddy quest. They move through time and parallel time lines. Throughout they interact with other versions of themselves. Together with the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre they fight the good fight for Truth, Freedom and the Agora. It’s fun. It’s serious. It’s a really delightful read.
Be forewarned Fractal Man is written from a libertarian anarchist viewpoint. Note the lower case “l” in libertarian. Neither of these dudes nor the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre has any use for politics or statist governments.
I’ve said it before about Schulman’s writing. I say it again for Fractal Man. It’s a deliciously reverential offense. It treads on diverse sacred cows. Something to offend ultra progressive liberals to far right wing conservatives, and everything thing in between. Something to offend every political persuasion. Something to tick off most religions, and spiritual paths with it’s metaphysics of paraverses. I’m sure a wide variety of special interests will see plenty of macro and micro aggressions too. I see a Tweetstorm brewing. I hope so. It’ll bring this deserving book to a wide mainstream audience.
Somewhere out there in an unseen paraverse the SEK3 I knew, is smoking his pipe. Blowing smoke rings of pride and satisfaction with Fractal Man.
Agree or disagree with Fractal Man’s viewpoint, it’s a very good read. Now you need to read it. Find out for yourself how, “Imagination creates reality.”
If you don’t – and in particular if you never met Samuel Edward Konkin – the man known as known as “SEKIII” to a generation of libertarians and SF fans before his tragically early death in 2004 – it will still be a whirligig of a cross-timeline edisonade, but some bits might leave you wondering how the author invented such improbabilities. But I knew SEKIII, and if there was ever a man who could make light of having a 50MT nuclear warhead stashed for safekeeping in his apartment, it was him.
David Albaugh is a pretty good violinist, a science-fiction fan, and an anarchist with a bunch of odd and interesting associates. None of this prepares him to receive a matter-of-fact phone call from Simon Albert Konrad III, a close friend who he remembers as having been dead for the previous nine years.
His day only gets weirder from there, as SAKIII and he (stout SF fans that they are) deduce that David has somehow been asported to a timeline not his own. But what became of the “local” Albaugh? Before the two have time to ruminate on that, they are both timeshifted to a history in which human beings (including them) can casually levitate, but there is no music.
Before they can quite recover from that, they’ve been recruited into a war between two cross-time conspiracies during which they meet multiples of their own fractals – alternate versions of themselves, so named because there are hints that the cosmos itself has undergone a kind of shattering that may have been recent in what passes for time (an accident at the Large Hadron Collider might have been involved). One of Albaugh’s fractals is J. Neil Schulman.
It speeds up to a dizzying pace; scenes of war, espionage, time manipulations, and a kiss-me/kill-me romance between Albaugh and an enemy agent (who also happens to be Ayn Rand’s granddaughter), all wired into several just-when-you-thought-it-couldn’t-go-further-over-the-top plot inversions.
I don’t know that the natural audience for this book is large, exactly, but if you’re in it, you will enjoy it a lot. Schulman plays fair; even the weirdest puzzles have explanations and all the balls are kept deftly in the air until the conclusion.
Assuming you know what “space opera” is, this is “timeline opera” done with the exuberance of a Doc Smith novel. Don’t be too surprised if some of it sails over your head; I’m not sure I caught all the references. Lots of stuff blows up satisfactorily – though, not, as it happens, that living-room nuke.
(This review first appeared on my blog, "Armed & Dangerous", and is part of a semi-regular series of SF book reviews there,)
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