Secret Passages

Paul Preuss, Author Tor Books $24.95 (381p) ISBN 978-0-312-86346-3
""Perhaps it is a miracle--that the world is real,"" says Manolis Minakis, the physicist-protagonist of this intensely believable SF novel, an indirect sequel to Preuss's Broken Symmetries. Reality is far from taken for granted by most of the theoretical physicists who work with quantum mechanics and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, but Minakis has had more than enough uncertainty in his life. His mother died after giving birth. He never knew his father. He was raised as an outcast, in dire poverty. As a teenager, his life changed radically when he was adopted by British archeologist John Pendlebury, who sent Minakis to Cambridge, where he studied applied mathematics. Since WWII, Minakis has been doing physics, but, because he won't accept Heisenberg, he's still an outsider. Now he is ready to prove the inaccuracy of the Uncertainty Principle, and he has chosen brilliant young physicist Peter Slater to help him. In order to convince Slater to come to his base in Crete, Minakis must first win over Slater's new wife. She, however, is caught up in a bitter custody battle over the children from her first marriage, a battle that may force her to disclose a dark and painful secret. What Preuss has created here is primarily an alternate historical novel and a good one at that. The SF content is almost secondary, though it provides a powerful symbolic gloss to Minakis's fascinating life. The book is smoothly written, features a number of well-drawn characters and should appeal to those curious about how real science gets done. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/30/1997
Release date: 07/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-8125-7148-6
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