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Parallelities Paperback – March 1, 1995
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
From the Inside Flap
It was just an average day for tabloid reporter Max Parker when he arrived in Malibu for a demonstration of a brand new parallel-universe machine. But everything changed in an instant when inventor Barrington Boles succeeded in making Max the human gate to numerous parallelities.
Now Max was lost in a virtual sea of collateral worlds, confronting man-eating aliens, dinosaurs, talking frogs, dead Maxes, girl Maxes, old Maxes, even ghost Maxes. His only chance to escape the space-time continuum was to find Boles and hope the loony genius could rescue him. But how could he be sure which world was real, which Max was Max, and which Boles was the Boles who could stop the madness--or trap Max in the wrong world forever. . . ? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
He sold his first short story to August Derleth at Arkham Collector magazine in 1968, and additional sales of short fiction to other magazines followed. His first try at a novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, was published by Ballantine Books in 1972. Since then, Foster has published many short stories, novels, and film novelizations, including the New York Times bestselling Splinter of the Mind's Eye and Flinx in Flux.
Foster has toured extensively around the world. Besides traveling, he enjoys classical and rock music, old films, basketball, bodysurfing, and weightlifting. He has taught screenwriting, literature, and film history at UCLA and Los Angeles City College. He and his wife live in Arizona.
From the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Following a rather slow beginning (I'd almost suggest skipping the first chapter), we encounter a slimy tabloid reporter who, due to an experiment run amok by an amateur scientist he's sent to interview, becomes doomed to sail randomly through parallel universes, many of which are at least as weird as the kinds of stories he writes for the tabloid paper. Each of these universes contains another version of himself, living life without any awareness of anything strange going on around him. (That is not the only one of the reporter's new "powers," but I don't want to give away the most original aspect of this novel.)
What I love about all of Foster's books is that his descriptions are so vivid, he makes the comically absurd seem almost plausible. You feel like you've lived in one of his books after reading it. Not only does he revel in verbose descriptions, he always seems to be pushing the limits of what's possible to put into words. His stories are often filled with "shocker lines," not all of which work, but are nonetheless very enjoyable.
In "Parallelities," each universe the reporter protagonist visits seems to encompass a story in itself, and in the process the book manages to cross several genres, leaving open more questions than it answers. The book is hilarious, because the reporter keeps convincing himself he's finally back in his own world, but we know he's only fooling himself.Read more ›
The central idea is interesting, if a bit over done. We've seen the "man torn from his own world, just trying to survive and get home" plotline thousands of times - dozens, even if we just count the AH versions. But there are few new plotlines, what counts is what you do with it.
And in my opinion, Foster doesn't do very much at all with this one.
To begin with, Maxwell Parker is not what you'd call a sympathetic character. Being a tabloid reporter, he's more than a little bit of a sleaze. Self-centered, egotistical, in love with himself, he's not someone you hang around with if you have a choice. And while this changes a little during the course of the book (nothing like meeting dozens of copies of yourself to give you a good feel for your weak points) , in the end, all Max really wants to do is go right back to the life he had before this all started, and in the meantime, all he's really doing is moping a lot. Self-centered depression is not what I call an ideal character development.
In fact, if I had to sum up what Max learns through all this it's "There's no place like home," a lesson The Wizard of Oz taught with much nicer characters - and which I have reservations about even there.
Foster introduces entirely too many characters that do a brief walk-on, set up themselves somewhat, and then are never seen again. I understand that most of these characters are "paras" that will vanish before the end of the chapter (by the very nature of the story), but it still feels like Foster is setting up someone to use and then just discarding them.Read more ›
Foster begins with an aura that suggests the standard serious SF genre. However, the book quickly becomes a light-hearted ride thorough a series of unreal universes. The writing is crisp, with many "tongue-in-cheek" situations. I agree that Mr.Foster began to fade a bit toward the end. However, the book overall provided a pleasant afternoon's reading. This is not "Dune" or even "Hyperion", but is not meant to be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Alan Dean Foster is one of my favorite authors. His imagination got a good workout in this book. If you like parallel reality types of stories this is one you need to read.Published 13 months ago by John Stevens
This is my favorite book of Foster because I find it to be the one that expands my mind the most. It also made me laugh at times as the main character encounters numerous odd... Read morePublished on January 4, 2004 by Marge Reynolds
I must honestly say that, while this book wasn't waht I expected, I still loved it. Foster mixes humor, science fiction, and an engaging, story to make a great book that is fun to... Read morePublished on January 24, 2001 by A.W.
I've been a fan of Foster since I was about 8 or 10. I've read at least a dozen of his books, and this one certainly doesn't rank well among them. Read morePublished on May 5, 2000 by Mike (Bloodhype) Cousins
This book is definitely Foster. If you are paying attention - and who wants to do that reading Sci-Fi - you can pick out some insights to that theme Foster has been leading us to... Read morePublished on December 8, 1998