Vanishing Point

Michaela Roessner, Author Tor Books $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-85213-9
The apocalypse of Roessner's ( Walkabout Woman ) well-crafted, sensitive post-apocalyptic novel has nothing to do with bombs or (overtly at least) with some eco-catastrophe, but rather with the mysterious and spontaneous disappearance of 90% of the population. Three decades after the Vanishing, as it is called, the traumatized survivors are still trying to cope with the loss and loneliness: some, like the destructive Heaven Bounders, gravitate toward religious fanaticism; some preserve the memory of lost lives by maintaining their empty homes. The widely varied inhabitants of the House (formerly the Winchester Mansion in San Jose, Calif.) are more optimistic, pulling together to rebuild a secure life in an altered world. Therein lies the book's chief weakness: the answers that House members find in mystical ``new physics'' seem too easy, and many of the characters are unrealistically nice and reasonable. In the end, this fine novel is marred by Roessner's unwillingness to confront some of the uglier sides of fate and human nature. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/28/1993
Release date: 07/01/1993
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-8125-1672-2
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