cover image Coming/Quantum Cats

Coming/Quantum Cats

Frederik Pohl. Spectra Books, $3.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-25786-1

Beginning with his classic novels of the '50s (The Space Merchants, Search the Sky, Pohl has shown a talent for constructing different scenarios and rushing his heroes through their mazes, which he repeats in this novel, an alternate-worlds adventure. The central action is an invasion of one Americawhere Nancy Reagan presidesby anotherwhere Jerry Brown is president. Throughout the work Pohl toys with an infinity of such warped mirror images of our own world. If the protagonists remain sketchy, short story characters, their proliferating number and rapid shuffling make such brevity acceptable. Particularly satisfying isfor Pohlthe unusually somber and challenging ending. At once zany and thought-provoking, this is one of Pohl's best in recent years. (May)