Reviewer Dr. Wesley Britton: Dr. Britton is the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in literature and the media. Starting in fall 2015, his new six-book science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted via BearManor Media. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents where he contributed interviews with a host of entertainment insiders. Before his retirement in 2016, Dr. Britton taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College. Learn more about Dr. Britton at his WEBSITE
Publisher: Camel Press
Author: John Patrick Lowrie
Publisher: Camel Press
Every once in a while, a
new novel comes along that is both epic in scope and, at the same
time, focused on a very personal, human drama. John Patrick Lowrie’s
characters do indeed dance with eternity in a universe where
humankind thinks it has mastered immortality. They believe technology
has solved all problems. However . . .
The narrator of Dancing with Eternity is Mohandas, an unemployed actor who’s thousands of years old. He’s old enough to remember a time when humans could die, when they lived in monogamous relationships and bore children. But a telekinetic net has been created where individuals can re-boot over and over and even enhance themselves—especially with the ability to delete memories. Interstellar travel is common although a handful of planets are off limits. Then, “Mo” meets the beautiful Steel, a ship captain with a secret mission. After Mo joins the crew consisting of very memorable fellow travelers, he learns Steel’s quest involves a deadly plague, a planet called Eden where the residents refuse to join the immortality net, and a plan that is more than illegal. Steel is seeking a cure for a daughter that cannot, like her mother, be immortal. What price will Steel pay, and ask her team to pay, to change the destiny of but one human female?
This dense story is far
richer than a capsule summary can suggest. In the best tradition of
the best science fiction, the galactic setting is painted with vivid,
believable detail. Recounting the history of a far-flung species over
thousands of millennia is no mean feat, especially while raising a
plethora of questions and issues throughout the narrative. In order
to earn those re-boots, humans must often serve decades of indentured
servitude to pay their bill. Without biological families, how do
humans make lasting relationships, particularly when space travel
means people age at very different rates? Everyone may be alive, but
decades or centuries will have zipped by in between meetings. And
how does one handle haunted memories thousands of years in your
All of this is a lot to ask for in one volume, even one as lengthy as Dancing with Eternity. When the reader reaches the epilogue, we’ve traveled long and far with one disappointment to face. This is a self-contained opus with no apparent clues or cues to signal any sequels are coming, at least featuring this cast of characters. Then again, I suspect many readers will find themselves holding on to their copy so they can return to this adventure at least one more time. Dancing with Eternity can’t be fully absorbed in one go. You’ll want to re-boot yourself—back to the first page.