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Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
Jason Desson, a once up and coming scientist [which type, I forget. It doesn’t matter to me or any normal person who reads this book. It would be like describing which handgun some hero used. It only matters to a very small segment] chose his family life with his wife and son-to-be over his career and now teaches at a local college.
He is kidnapped one night and wakes up in another world. He figures out he’s in a parallel universe and with the help of one the scientists from Jason2’s world, attempts to get back to “his” world. And ‘his’ Daniella.
After much experimenting and whining and other bs, he makes it home. Only to find that what makes the whole paralell universe thing viable is that there are over 70 other Jason who all made it back too. Our Jason thinks of a clever plan, rescues his wife and son, outsmarts all the other Jasons and uses his son to find a new world to start a new life on.
I wanted to enjoy this more than I did. Part of it is that everything is predicated on an atheistic outlook, ie, there is no Supreme Being, no Supreme Observer. Schrodinger’s Cat razzle dazzle means diddly squat if there is one all knowing, all seeing, all powerful God. Dark Matter, too. The second issue is where is all this energy coming from to create all these branched universes? Parallel worlds being created with every choice we make sounds great and if you’re 25 is a great idea to bat around, but when you look at it through the lens of universal constants, it is as pie in the sky as the moon being made of green cheese. The third ramification is that of the soul. That is theology and once again, it is completely bypassed and ignored. For me, that as actually more important and the lack of thought about it pushed me out of the story.
Ok, with all of those out of the way….
Ha, who I am kidding.
I enjoyed this. BUT…
Sliders. Stargate SG1. Other tv shows I can’t even remember off the top of my head. I kept getting flashes of those while reading this. I felt like I was re-treading an old trail.
It was fun. It was interesting. It wasn’t original though and I have to admit, from all the rah, rah, rah I’d heard about Crouch, I was expecting something original. Crap, maybe I’m getting old. I can handle unoriginal ideas. I thrive on the Hero’s Journey, Coming of Age stories, the Underdog Winning against Impossible Odds, the Evil McEvilson getting his Just Rewards [of death!]. But this was like those conversations I had with my friend Isaac when we were in highschool, bibleschool and shortly after. As soon as the guy in the mask showed up, I knew every major plot point that was going to happen and that disappointed me.
This was not a bad book by any means. I would recommend it to “New to SF” readers, it’ll blow their minds. But my mind’s already been blown by this idea, 15-20+ years ago. Timothy Zahn explored this in his short stories. Go read his short collection Cascade Point and Other Stories.
I just wanted to like this more and I couldn’t.