Tomorrow’s World

Lisa Manuel, Author
Lisa Manuel, Author . Medallion $15.95 (410p) ISBN 978-1-933836-35-5
Reviewed on: 12/24/2007
Release date: 03/01/2008

A promising murder puzzle in a moderately intriguing utopian milieu is overwhelmed by encyclopedic world building in this second novel and first SF yarn from Scottish journalist Henderson (Waterfall Glen ). From the first sentence (“Most citizens take time travel for granted”), Henderson raises and then dashes expectations; the 22nd-century “timesphere” technology described by LogiPol cop Ben Travis is merely a holographic simulator, and the complex relationship between Ben, a naturally born Name, and his partner, Paula, a lab-grown Number, is drowned out by long-winded descriptions of global environmental disaster and subsequent social and technological developments. Though Ben and Paula’s primary goal is to investigate the apparent suicide of plant dealer Douglas MacDougall, the mystery is rapidly overwhelmed by side trips into history, and too little space remains for Henderson to fully explore the social dynamics between Names and Numbers. Henderson provides smooth prose and mostly amiable characters, but his dry editorializing is no substitute for genuine narrative tension. (Mar.)

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