Un­cer­tain fu­ture

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - Jonathan Wright

re­leased OUT NOW! 352 pages | Hard­back/ebook

Au­thor Ted Kos­matka

Pub­lisher Michael Joseph

Eric Ar­gus is washed up, a once bril­liant quan­tum physi­cist who’s suc­cumbed to booze. Then comes a sec­ond chance. An old friend hires Ar­gus to work at Hansen, a pres­ti­gious lab, and Ar­gus de­cides to recre­ate Feyn­man’s dou­ble-slit ex­per­i­ment, which showed how elec­trons be­have as both a par­ti­cle and a wave.

Which is when Ar­gus’s life starts to go even more awry, as his re­sults ap­pear to re­veal the ex­is­tence of the hu­man soul – and its lack in some. Soon, he finds him­self pur­sued by vi­o­lent and well-re­sourced forces.

If there’s some­thing a lit­tle Dan Brown about the set-up to Ted Kos­matka’s third novel, don’t worry, it’s mostly just the con­spir­a­cies whis­per­ing to you from the shad­ows. A far closer anal­ogy is with Michael Crichton, as Kos­matka uses an air­port thriller nar­ra­tive of set­piece violence, no­ble sac­ri­fice and bad-ass bad­dies to sneak in ideas about the na­ture of re­al­ity – or, more ac­cu­rately, dif­fer­ent re­al­i­ties.

There’s the odd hokey mo­ment in the fi­nal 50 pages as Kos­matka tries to re­solve dif­fer­ent plot strands, but it’s an im­pres­sive novel nonethe­less, with Ar­gus a re­source­ful semi-hero for­ever caught be­tween do­ing the right thing and piss­ing his life up against the wall.

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