- Paperback: 222 pages
- Publisher: Dog Star Books (August 15, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1947879057
- ISBN-13: 978-1947879058
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,315,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In a Suspect Universe Paperback – August 15, 2018
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Wendland's follow-up to The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes (2014) fills in some of the backstory of lonely explorer, scholar, and poet Mykol Ranglen, famous for his discovery of one of the mysterious Clips, alien artifacts left behind by the now-vanished Airafane that provide precious technological information. His story begins as he unceremoniously plummets onto the hood of a desert vehicle owned by Riley, an amateur Airafanologist. As Ranglen's story is revealed to both Riley and the reader, the narrative plunges into an exploration not only of more mysterious potential powers of the Clips but also into a world haunted by a seemingly endless cycle of creation and rebirth. Wendland channels some of his admitted influences such as Andre Norton, Adam Strange comics, and various other kinds of scientific romance-style sf into an engrossing and ever-expanding world full of both breathtaking beauty and cosmic horror. In A Suspect Universe is sure to please not only fans of his earlier work but any general sf reader looking to indulge in their sense of wonder. --Booklist.
Inner and outer space collide in this emotionally driven prequel to 2014's The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes. Mykol Ranglen, unhappy with the artificial world Annulus, built with alien knowledge that he uncovered, runs away right into another discovery of the alien Airafane: a teleportation network between the stars. Falling onto a hidden human colony, Alchera, he is startled to find that its landscape, a crater called the Blight, reacts to his imagination . . . Working with the psychological implications of identity, transformation, and perception, Wendland tangles up the characters and worlds in loops of time and space that make it unclear whether Mykol is a hero sacrificing himself or a villain out to destroy what he cannot control. The resolution of his emotional and intellectual dilemmas of dealing with Alchera and the Airafane gives a solid sense of closure that new and returning readers appreciate. --Publisher's Weekly (Aug.)
About the Author
Albert Wendland has made a career out of his life-long interests in science fiction--and photography, art, film, and travel. He teaches popular fiction, literature, and writing at Seton Hill University, where he has been director of its MFA in Writing Popular Fiction (the program famous for its exclusive attention to genre writing). His SF novel, The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes, was a starred pick-of-the-week by Publisher's Weekly, and the prequel, In a Suspect Universe, was published in 2018, describing a story from the protagonist's past. He's now writing a book of poetry supposedly written by the protagonist of both works. He's also written and published a book-length study of science fiction, a chapter in Many Genres, One Craft, a poem in Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books, and several articles on SF and writing. He enjoys landscape photography, astronomy, graphic novels, and the"sublime."
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I read Wendland's first book in this world, The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes, in one evening. I wish I could have done the same with this book, but life kept interfering. Instead, I snatched moments of brief moments of time with this intriguing, elegant novel.
It's hard to gush about what, exactly, I loved about this book without verging into spoiler-territory. I can easily say that it was distinctly different from Wendland's previous book while still maintaining his vivid authorial voice and sharing more about this futuristic galaxy where humans have emerged as a powerful force, but only by riding the coattails of a previous alien race.
The main character, Mykol, is younger here, with all the immaturity and impetuousness that leads to crazy adventures. But the first character you meet, Riley, is our true guiding star. I'd love to learn more about her adventures, now that she knows more of the "truth" of her universe than most people.
I didn't have a choice about which book I read first, and even though this one is a prequel, I'd be hard-pressed to suggest a reading order. All I can say is that you should read both. Wendland's works are a return to a classic space opera, but they bring modern sensibilities that I think will age well with time. I'd been begging for this book for years -- I hope he's prepared for me to immediately start clamoring for another installment in his amazing universe.