The Multiplex Man

James Patrick Hogan, Author Spectra Books $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-08999-8
In this unfocused SF thriller set in the near future, the bureaucracy governing America and Western Europe has used environmental protection as an excuse to wrest away personal liberty, while the military conducts secret experiments in transferring personality from one brain to another as the ultimate form of mind control. Conservative schoolteacher Richard Jarrow awakens one day in an Atlanta hotel room with a new body and a six-month gap in his memory. His original corpus, he learns, died six months ago, and he shares the new body with several other personalities, among them a deadly super-spy code-named Samurai. The spy has been assigned to track down scientist Conrad Ashling, who pioneered the brain-transfer technology. Now disillusioned, Ashling is seeking to defect to the open society of Eastern Europe and the offworld colonies. The ensuing chase across the globe and into space is marred by weak characterizations and the protagonist's frequent changes of identity, which lead to a troublesome lack of continuity. Readers are unlikely to believe in the world Hogan ( Entroverse ) creates or to care much about its inhabitants. ( Nov. )
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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