THE US REVIEW OF BOOKS: “Well-written discussions of future technologies and physics make it possible to maintain suspension of disbelief…as the present and future Pennfields battle to outwit one another.”
“Can an interloper from the future actually change his past and, thereby, our future? Likewise, can we actually change our future and, thereby, his past?”
A boy sits on a cold dock in New England. It is Christmas 1963, and his life changes from that moment forward. Two external forces clash over the fate of seven-year-old Ship Pennfield–one force from the past, another from the future. Every 80 years since the 1620 drowning of an innocent woman, a Pennfield male has suffered irreparable loss from her spirit’s curse. Perhaps that’s why family members have developed psychic gifts.
Ship’s deceased mother perceives the boy is in danger. Although institutionalized in a catatonic state for years, he has spoken three times. In a dream, she warns his father who consults a ghost hunter, psychiatrist, and physicist. Mysteries from the past are discovered, but time travel alone unravels the future. Who is trying to manipulate the present Pennfields, arriving naked and hovering? Did this visitor affect their past in order to change his future? Is it possible an aging Ship somehow experiences two parallel lifetimes?
The author wrote this Sci-Fi mystery to challenge readers into considering the consequences of applying new technologies to human life. The author describes Ganzfeld (teleportation across time), Enhanced Virtual Reality (EVR), and Cryonics (freezing to preserve life after death). Well-written discussions of future technologies and physics make it possible to maintain suspension of disbelief. Readers may, at times, feel they are watching a ping-pong match as the present and future Pennfields battle to outwit one another.
The author predicts that interventions in another person’s life could lead to a split existence. For example, while Ship’s body lies catatonic in Massachusetts, his other persona is a doctor in Africa who tries to prevent a tyrant from assuming world domination. With Ship’s death, the wave collapses, and the future Pennfield receives the curse he attempted to avoid. And in a unique twist, the epilogue credits the published account for the reversal.
RECOMMENDED by The US Review of Books