ADVENTURES IN TIME AND SPACE WITH MAX MERRIWELL

Pat Murphy, Author . Tor $24.95 (287p) ISBN 978-0-312-86643-3

In this cerebral equivalent of a roller-coaster ride from Nebula-winner Murphy (Wild Angel), Susan Galina, a quiet librarian with a repressed imagination, faces all sorts of amusing, thought-provoking challenges on a cruise through the Bermuda Triangle. Susan falls for the ship's security officer, attends a writing class taught by Max Merriwell (her favorite author), is stalked by one of Merriwell's seemingly autonomous, pseudonymous alter egos, and along the way reinvents herself. The novel's surface, however, is not smooth; it loops back onto itself beautifully. Pat Murphy is on the cruise and also a character in a book by Merriwell, as well as the author of these Adventures. The title of these Adventures is the title of a book that Merriwell dreams that he has written. The narrative is replete with absorbing ponderings on the nature of reality and the nature of the novel. "Fiction writers are all liars," Merriwell says at one point. "People tend to forget that." Furthermore, all people are liars rewriting their own lives, whether with small lies or more complex ones. Characters in novels are lies who can lie, but they can be just as real as people outside novels. In this book obsessed with books, the questions of who is in charge, who is real and whether the answers to those questions matter will leave readers pleasantly dizzy. (Nov. 6)

Forecast:In addition to literate SF fans with a sense of humor, this good-natured romp should appeal to those whose tastes run to the metafictional.

Reviewed on: 10/08/2001
Release date: 11/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-312-70318-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 294 pages - 978-0-8125-4173-1
MP3 CD - 978-0-7861-8416-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-2857-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-8432-3
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