Maze of Worlds

Brian Lumley, Author
Brian Lumley, Author Tor Books $25.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-312-86604-4
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
Ebook - 512 pages - 978-0-312-87141-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 512 pages - 978-0-8125-7780-8
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Its abundance of futuristic technojargon and gizmology notwithstanding, this sequel to Lumley's 1990 SF adventure, The House of Doors, is a throwback to drive-in B-movies of the 1950s, replete with evil space invaders bent on world domination and selfless human heroes. Here the villains are the Ggydnn, a renegade clan of the alien Thone, who, under the direction of disgraced mastermind Sith, have unleashed a sort of killer kudzu that is rapidly terraforming Earth to conditions noxious to humans but comfy for extraterrestrial habitation. The invasion is just a sneaky scheme to lure Spencer Gill, the agent of Sith's undoing in the previous novel, back for another showdown in the House of Doors, a Thone supercomputer whose interior contains a multitude of virtual worlds built from the nightmares of those who become trapped inside it. There is little doubt from the moment Gill, Angela Denholm and five other unlikely commandos enter the alien construct that they will find a way to master its monsters and turn its false realities to their advantage--although not before enduring ordeals with sentient machines, mutant births, grotesque physical transformations and other horrors fashioned from their subconscious fears. Lumley's stereotypically sneering aliens and virtuous humans often seem little more than computer constructs themselves, but the novel's plot speeds briskly over these shortcomings. Cutting-edge SF this isn't, but readers looking for the same audacious imagination that enlivens Lumley's Necroscope series will find this a pleasantly distracting substitute. (June)
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