Alternities by Michael P. Kube-McDowell

 

Science FictionAlternities AlternitiesMichael Kube-McDowell; Ace Books 1988WorldCat

 Alternate realities – more than one Earth – is a story plotline often found in science fiction. This one twists the theme a little and adds a political suspense thriller to the mix. There was only one “Earth” until the early 1950’s. Then something happened and the Earth reality fractured.

Walter Endicott was the first person to discover the maze that connected these similar yet different worlds. It was an accident for him. He then slowly turned the information into a source of power. Now his new world can use the maze to enter at least five other Earth realities, including the one of his origin.

United States history has evolved differently here. Eisenhower died before he could become president. The U.S. became an isolationist country. Now, in the mid-1970’s, the Socient Union is the major world power. The cold war between the two countries can heat up any time, especially when Russian submarines are often seen along the East coast. Rayne Wallce grew up in this world. He is now a runner between realities and sees different possibilities. He is married with a daughter at home. Yet in another Earth, he falls in love with his “might have been.” This brings complications he could not have foreseen.

This book is very uneven – at times I was gripped the telling, especially near the end. But often I felt I could have skipped sections – just wanted to get on with it. President Robinson is an interesting study as he decides how to take the United States into the future. Kube-McDowell took a “what if?” political situation, then added the alternate realities. By the end, the reader is trying to figure how it is all going to end – will there be a war? What about the other realties? Will they be available as help or a resource?

Notice: Strong sexual content

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