IN THE COUNTRY OF THE BLIND

Michael Flynn, Author . Tor $27.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-312-87444-5

First published in part as a serial and in part as a paperback original (1990), this novel of big ideas, now revised and updated by Flynn (Firestar; Lodestar; Rogue Star; etc.), explores the consequences of manipulating history. When Sarah Beaumont moves into an old Denver house, she learns that a previous owner, Brady Quinn, was killed in 1892 during a gunfight between two cowboys, seemingly an innocent bystander. Sarah's research into the mysterious Quinn leads her to a building where she finds some strange, abandoned machines, which turn out to be Babbage Analytical Engines (i.e., 19th-century computers). Soon Sarah is on the trail of the Babbage Society, founded before the Civil War, whose members use the science of Cliology to tamper with history. Some of them have formed a splinter group and created Ideons (later called memes) to control an unsuspecting public. With several friends, Sarah continues her research, only to find that they have all become targets of a relentless enemy. Intrigues and double-crosses abound, as various competing factions justify and adjust their practice of Cliology. Plot and character development, as one might expect, matter only insofar as they further the philosophical argument. In a thought-provoking, chart-filled appendix, first published in Analog, Flynn discusses the mathematics and biology of history. Fans of classical SF are in for a treat. Agent, Eleanor Wood. (Aug. 29)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2001
Release date: 08/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 527 pages - 978-0-671-69886-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 560 pages - 978-0-7653-4498-4
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