cover image Elvissey


Jack Womack. Tor Books, $12.95 (319pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85202-3

Womack ( Ambient ) astounds and entertains in this adventure featuring a young Elvis Presley kidnapped into a future in which he becomes a deity. Though the plot suggests the ridiculous, this is, in fact, a deep, often theological, reflection on love, betrayal and commercially inspired nihilism. The narrator is Isabel, a high-level operative for Dryco, a mind-manipulating multinational conglomerate in a parallel future. Seeing control of various Elvis-worshiping sects as important to its domination of the globe, Dryco sends Isabel and her husband through a ``Window'' to kidnap young Elvis from another parallel universe. They find the King-to-be of Rock 'n' Roll standing over the body of the mother he has just murdered, and he takes the couple on a bloody road trip through the South before they arrive in Dryco's world. Though Elvis is happy to have escaped murder charges, his gnostic philosophy makes him a reluctant messiah, and Dryco goes to extremes in convincing him to go public. From loony beginning to gripping climax, Womack has found a brilliant vehicle through which to examine relationships, race, popular culture and a host of other topics, and forces us to contemplate whether the dystopian worlds he evinces are not, in fact, merely heterotopian. (Jan.)