Select one of the keywords
Godplayers    by Damien Broderick order for
by Damien Broderick
Order:  USA  Can
Thunders Mouth Press, 2005 (2005)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

August Seebeck's psychic great-aunt Tansy admits to finding a corpse in the bathtub on Saturday nights, but by Sunday morn the corpse is gone. August passes it off as 'elderly fantasy' until the seventh Saturday night when he witnesses a corpse being shoved into the second- floor bathroom. What fazes him the most is seeing the disposer step out of the bathroom mirror. Thus begins August's journey into a multi-universe 'Contest of Worlds'. The battle includes Vorpal Players, nasty K-Machines, and Good Machines.

The corpse deliverers are Doctor Lune (Lyoon) Katha Sarit Sagara, and Maybelline Seebeck (one of many siblings August is yet to meet). August notes that Lune has the same silver hieroglyphics on the sole of one foot as he does. As he holds his foot up to the mirror, August is suddenly transported into another cosmos, where an elevator opens to release all kinds of beings. He meets more siblings and is taught the powers within him. Broderick's creation includes a world where women are much taller than men, another which has been torn apart by tidal waves and inhabited by dinosaurs, yet another of 'lean and lightly furred' beings, and a fourth with no humans, just machines. All of them are Players in the Contest. August now wears a leather glove on his right hand, covering gold hieroglyphs inserted in his palm.

Just as August was bent on understanding the Contest, I was bent on following his story. Whenever I thought I was grasping an understanding, along came a crack, and I fell through it to begin over again. In Broderick's Afterword, he says, 'All too often ... today's SF readers are cheated of our quite lengthy tradition, as many classic texts have been allowed to fall out of print. For those who do know and love the old wonders, I hope this novel rekindles fond memories ... of writers Roger Zelazny and Fritz Leiber.' Perhaps Broderick has written a tale beyond my reach. I recommend Godplayers to sci-fi aficionados, who relish a 'Greater Cosmos' and scifi including inconclusive twists in complex contexts, or for readers gifted with a mathematical mind.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more SF books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews