King of the Worlds.
King of the Worlds
M. Thomas Gammarino
Chin Music Press
9781634059084, $24.50, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "King of the Worlds" by Thomas Gammarion is a dark comedy that explores the lost universes of disgraced idol Dylan Greenyears. Dylan had always wanted to live as many lives as he could--that was the appeal of being an actor. But at the end of a brief, bright stint as a Hollywood heartthrob, Dylan loses the lead in Titanic and exiles himself and his wife to a recently settled exoplanet called New Taiwan. At first, life beyond Earth seems uncannily un-wondrous. Dylan teaches at an American prep school, raises a family with his high school sweetheart, and lives out his restlessness through literature. But then a box of old fan mail (and the hint of a galaxy-wide conspiracy) offers Dylan a chance to recapture the past. As he tries to balance this transdimensional mid-life crisis against family life, Dylan encounters a cast of extraordinary characters that include a supercomputer with aspirations of godhood, a Mormon-fundamentalist superfan, an old-school psychoanalyst, a sampling of his alternate selves, and, once again, the love of his several lives. "King of the Worlds" throws cosmology, technology, nineties pop culture, and religion into an existential blender for a mix that is by turns tragic and absurd, elegiac and filled with wonder.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, inherently fascinating, consistently compelling from beginning to end, "King of the Worlds" is an extraordinary and original science fiction novel that deftly demonstrates author Thomas Gammarino's truly impressive storytelling talents. While very highly recommended for community library science fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated SciFi fans that "King of the Worlds" is also available in a Kindle edition ($16.42).