Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Reviews 44 - Marked by Benedict Jacka

Reviews 44
Benedict Jacka

In the How To Use Tarot And Astrology In Science Fiction series, Part 3

we touched on the alternate universe premise being explored by mathematicians and quantum physics enthusiasts.

Combining Science with Fantasy, mixing genres, works best when you know both theories.

As I mentioned, James Blish (author of the first published STAR TREK novel, SPOCK MUST DIE) explored the alternate futures, parallel universes stacked like strips of film, in JACK OF EAGLES.

STAR TREK did alternate realities in the 1960's TV series, and it has continued to be explored in the movies and revived series.

Quantum Leap, the TV Series, used alternate universes spun off at decision points as a "vehicle" -- never explaining the physics, just saying the main character is a physicist.  I hated that part of the TV Series -- I wanted to know the PHYSICS, because that's the most interesting part of the quantum leaping concept (becoming in charge of another person's life).

Marion Zimmer Bradley used the decision point generating futures theory in her Darkover Series where an ESP talent is foretelling futures, not THE future.

Now Benedict Jacka has once again used this premise for his main Character in a long (and deservedly popular) Series of novels from ACE.

Here is MARKED, #9 in the Series:


Previous novels in the series haven't really focused on ROMANCE -- but this one actually pivots on the psychological dynamics behind Romance and the Soul Mate concept.

The female lead Character has a dissociated (evil twin) locked away in an astral plane dungeon, and the evil twin gets out, wreaks havoc, and must be put away for good.

On page 299 of 310, the key phrase, "I love you," solves the problem.

It is said because of the male lead character's analysis of the personality of the "good" half of the female lead Character.

That analysis is astute.  The psychology of split personality is well and solidly (and scientifically) depicted.  The resolution is plausible.

This novel, and the whole series, is highly recommended reading.  It is FANTASY universe, and about law enforcement entangled with politics.  The main male lead character gets a (thankless) job in low level law enforcement and through many novels, rises to the top of the political power structure (where he decidedly does not want to be).

A complex, rich, multifaceted fantasy world with the male lead Character's only "power" the ability to "see" a short way into the futures splitting off as people toy with, and then decide on a course of action.  Just thinking about doing something generates timelines!  Fascinating premise.

The physics behind this premise is never explained, which frustrates me.  The interesting thing is that this readership is assumed to know all about the alternating and ever fragmenting reality-streams generated merely by human intension.

Very highly recommended series!

Jacqueline Lichtenberg

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