by Walter Jon Williams
Cover Artist: Daniel Dos Santos
Review by Paul Haggerty
Night Shade Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781597801256
Date: 01 April 2008 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /
Aristide is an investigator of implied spaces, those areas that don't exist as a specific physical entity, but rather are only defined in relation to the physical objects that surround them. In the distant future, artificial intelligence, near limitless amounts of energy, and physics far beyond our understanding has opened up the universes in ways never dreamed possible. And that's universes, plural. Pocket universes, designed and created to order are inflated and stabilized and hooked to our reality, allowing tourists to have the ultimate vacation, separatists to literally build a golden society according to their beliefs, and people like Aristide to wander dozens of creations, seeking out what happens when someone puts a mountain next to a sea, and doesn't bother to describe what happens when they meet. Implied Spaces must exist, and something has to happen there. Sometimes it's banal, and sometimes it will threaten humanity's very existence. From official release/information:
Product Description: Aristide, a semi-retired computer scientist turned swordsman, is a scholar of the implied spaces, seeking meaning amid the accidents of architecture in a universe where reality itself has been sculpted and designed by superhuman machine intelligence. While exploring the pre-technological world Midgarth, one of four dozen pocket universes created within a series of vast, orbital matrioshka computer arrays, Aristide uncovers a fiendish plot threatening to set off a nightmare scenario, perhaps even bringing about the ultimate Existential Crisis: the end of civilization itself. Traveling the pocket universes with his wormhole-edged sword Tecmesssa in hand and talking cat Bitsy, avatar of the planet-sized computer Endora, at his side, Aristide must find a way to save the multiverse from subversion, sabotage, and certain destruction.
(Source: Night Shade Books)