Master of the Revels: A Return to Neal Stephenson’s D.O.D.O.
Galland, who coauthored The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.
with Neal Stephenson, continues the byzantine tale of the now divided interests of the Department of Diachronic Operations as its operatives manipulate time strands through the application of magic and science. Five years after the formation of D.O.D.O., the organization has fallen under the influence of Gráinne, a witch from 17th-century Ireland whose objective is to disrupt the historical events that led to a 21st century dominated by science rather than magic. To stop her, Diachronic Operative Tristan Lyons and his coworker and lover, Melisande Stokes, form an informal counter-agency, GRIMNIR. Both D.O.D.O. and GRIMNIR embark on multiple history-altering missions. After Gráinne changes a few critical lines of Macbeth
, for example, Tristan and his sister, Robin, a new recruit, are dispatched to Shakespeare’s London to restore the original text. Gráinne’s mission and GRIMNIR’s countermeasures also take operatives to 14th-century Florence, fourth-century Sicily, and 15th-century Kyoto, with wide-ranging effects on the present. Galland’s careful attention to everyday life in various time periods creates verisimilitude, as does the assortment of found documents through which the tale is presented. Fans of time-travel science fiction are sure to be engaged. Agent: Liz Darhansoff, Darhansoff & Verrill. (Feb.)