Nick Sagan, Author . Putnam $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-399-15097-5

Billed as a near-future thriller, Sagan's first novel plods through terrain all too familiar to SF readers. The narrator awakens with amnesia in a mysterious realm easily identified as a computer-generated virtual reality, fraught with metaphors and symbols. He slowly grasps that his name is Halloween, and that he may have murdered someone called Lazarus. Eventually, he realizes he's one of a handful of high school students attending "Immersive Virtual Reality" classes at the Idlewild IVR Academy, sponsored by the Gedaechtnis Corporation, a multinational biotech company. Intimidated by the villainous teacher, Maestro, and wary of his fellow students, Halloween is determined to recover his memory, apparently damaged in a power surge that threatened to destroy the IVR, and learn what really happened to the missing Lazarus. Despite a compelling twist near the middle, the low tension and meandering plot will likely frustrate the primary target audience, mainstream fans of such futuristic action films as The Matrix and Minority Report. Sagan may not be the next Philip K. Dick or William Gibson, but he shows enough talent here to suggest he can improve on pacing in the promised sequel. (Aug. 11)

Forecast:As the son of the late popular astronomer Carl Sagan, the author is bound to get more than the usual media attention for a first novel. The stark, stylish jacket—of an impressionistic brown-toned butterfly superimposed on a "solar eclipse"—signals that, unlike a lot of genre SF, this is a class act.

Reviewed on: 07/14/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Show other formats
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-59887-308-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61587-501-6
Book - 978-1-56511-790-7
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-451-21206-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 292 pages - 978-0-451-46198-8
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-553-81597-9
Hardcover - 279 pages - 978-0-593-05190-0
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-64327-3
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-64326-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-56511-791-4
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.