cover image Null-A Continuum

Null-A Continuum

John C. Wright, . . Tor, $25.95 (317pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1629-5

Questions of identity and personal purpose fill this inconsistent sequel to A.E. van Vogt’s 1940s SF pulp thriller The World of Null-A . Gilbert Gosseyn, a double-brained telepath embroiled in intergalactic intrigue, struggles to undermine legendary clairvoyant Enro and his plot to take over or destroy the Milky Way. When one of Gosseyn’s clones kills the leaders of the Interstellar League, Gosseyn is left to battle Enro on his own. The often dizzying narrative acquires an ever-widening scope, eventually spanning all of space and time. Wright attempts to flesh out and make sense of van Vogt’s world while retaining a respectful distance from the original story. A mixed bag results, fluctuating between hectic action and a dense, plot-slowing web of conspiracy and psychology. The characters’ individual voices are sound, but their personalities do little to hold the reader’s interest. Though inventive, this problematic love letter to a long-gone era misses the mark. (May)