Monday, July 24, 2017

The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein

The Punch Escrow. Tal M. Klein. Geek and Sundry. July 2017. 300 pp. ISBN #: 9781942645589.  

It’s the year 2147 and nanotechnology reigns supreme!  There’s no more pollution because genetically engineered mosquitoes suck carbon dioxide out of the air.  Cars drive themselves and chits are used to pay for travel.  But the highlight of this world lies in teleportation, the ability to travel anywhere in the world in literally seconds.  It’s all controlled by International Transport, a company where Sylvia, Joel Byram’s wife, works.  The company is into changing life for the better, all with the science of quantum mechanics which IT’s scientists have completely dissected and applied to modern technology.  But nothing is perfect, right?

To start with Joel and Sylvia are about to celebrate an anniversary, and Joel realizes that this marriage isn’t working at all basically because communication between the two is nil, both in quantity and quality.  Whenever Joel gets close to a time when they can stop and talk, something happens and the talk never occurs. 

Now Joel’s on his way to Costa Rica for a much-needed vacation for Sylvia and him.  However, something goes very wrong and Joel is now the prisoner of IT scientists who proceed to explain that one part of him got transported to Costa Rica but another part of him, one might call “the soul,” is here, never left and ultimately probably dead although his body’s presence denies that last premise.

Something’s gone dreadfully wrong and it all involves a war between corporate higher-ups, who just don’t know when to curb their greed and realize what they can’t accomplish with science, and a bunch of religious maniacs who believe the new scientific world is evil, the Tower of Babel Biblical story updated by centuries.

All of this is accomplished with Joel’s snarky humor, clear descriptions (wee bit too many) of the hard science facts involved in the plot and this world, and a mystery filled with adventure and Sylvia and Joel go out of the box to find out precisely what IT Corporation has done that is science gone amok and why!!!  For science fiction fans, this is a gem! Enjoy it all!

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