Paul Preuss, Author William Morrow & Company $23 (350p) ISBN 978-0-688-09662-5
This flawed and uneven futuristic techno-thriller by the author of the Arthur C. Clarke Venus Prime series turns on an apocalyptic crisis. The Earth's magnetic field is collapsing, creating chaos with navigation and telecommunications systems and leaving segments of the population unprotected from lethal solar radiation. Maverick geologist Leiden Hudder, working with a brilliant but abrasive scientist, Marta Cellini-Sanchez McDougal, has a plan to confront this calamity, making use of a superhard substance discovered by his father. He and Marta propose to manipulate the magnetic field at its source by drilling all the way to the Earth's core. But first Hudder must contend with bureaucrats, politicians, his own rocky family relationships and the awesome destructive potential of the Earth's fiery depths. Despite the tantalizing premise and some brisk, exciting passages, the narrative falls flat, defeated by tediously detailed scientific and technical explanations, the protagonist's cliche-ridden family history, digressive character development and a ludicrous, melodramatic climax that diverges from the book's central premise. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-71182-6
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