Archive for the ‘Paul McAuley’ Category
Cowboy Angels, by Paul McAuley
Published: PYR, Jan 2011
Where I got it: received a review copy from the publisher
Why I read it: alluring blurb, totally awesome cover art.
Something like Sliders meets James Bond meets Stargate meets Jason Bourne, Cowboy Angels is one of the fastest paced stories I’ve read in a long time. Playing fast and loose with quantum mechanics, McAuley offers us an alternate Earth whose citizens call their world The Real, as this is the original Earth where the first Turing Gate allowed travel to parallel earths. It’s the early 1980’s, and agents from the Real have been living undercover and slowly making contact with other earth governments for decades.
The high concept is that all decisions have the potential to split off another parallel Earth, or sheaf, and that all possible choices do exist. The Turing Gates open to random sheaves, in which small historical changes (Alan Turing emigrating to America, for instance) cause massive future changes. There is some really fun math happening here, especially since I was reading Cowboy Angels while I was reading Flatterland.
Retired Company Agent Adam Stone has been living quietly in a wild sheaf for a few years, trying to find the right moment to confess his feelings to the widow of his best friend. Interrupting his idyllic life, he is called back to work, ostensibly to bring his old partner, Tom Waverly, whose gone rogue, back to the fold. It’s believed that Tom has gone crazy, stolen government secrets, and started killing the doppels (the doppleganger “you” in another sheaf) of government mathematician Eileen Barrie. Tom needs to be brought in alive before he destroys everything.