Superposition by David Walton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was an entertaining courtroom drama that happened to geek out all over the place with a coherent explanation of quantum mechanics AND a relevant hard SF extrapolation of the theories.
What is that in laymen terms?
Murder mystery meets many-worlds.
I'm sure those people who geek out over courtroom dramas will get a lot more out of this novel than me. I would have been perfectly peachy with an action-science thriller, and I'll be frank, this novel would have met a five star for me if it had been. It was polished enough in plot to stand with its head held high without diving into anything else, but I'll give it props for being very decent in both hard SF and legal mystery stuff.
My personal wishes have nothing to do with whether this book was excellent. And it was excellent.
The science was particularly well-done and engaging and it was also so damn relevant to the plot that I couldn't help but squee with delight at the explored and exploited plot-lines.
It wasn't set very far in the future, but the opened horizons made me feel that ever-so-desired sense of wonder I always pray for in a science-fiction novel.
There wasn't any worldbuilding here. It was just a widening of our myriad possibilities. If only we could have stayed on that side of the novel. *sigh*
Please don't get me wrong. I live for novels that genre-bend. It allows us readers to swim in oceans of new possibilities. I just don't like it when a mix feels like a noose to reel-in characters, even if it provided very decent and ongoing conflict.
I'm afraid I'm prejudiced a bit against mysteries. It doesn't matter how many I've read. They have a place in my heart, but they'll never quite open up my head. Otherwise, I loved all the ideas, no matter if a lot of them have been done before.
The novel has a modern sensibility and a very clear style. I'm sure most people would get through the novel quite easily.
It's the ideas within that will stay with me.
You ought to know what I mean, though. It's all about quantum alien intelligences, bridging the Holtzmann gap between the subatomic and macro, manipulating probability wave collapses, the mirror-image duplication of characters, and even e-paper computers that remotely tap into supercolliders.
It's the little classic stuff of SF. In a murder mystery/courtroom drama.
I'm pretty sure most other readers, whether they like mystery or SF, will get a great deal of satisfaction out of the novel. I wish you well with it!
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