I heard Kay Kenyon present at Readercon and liked her, so I went looking for Bright of the Sky. The book has a very cool opening, in which a quantum AI grew obssessed with evidence for another universe. I wanted to know more about the AI, but the story is really about the other universe.
When we meet Titus Quinn, he is bitter over the way he was treated after stumbling into this other universe known as the Entire. Soon enough he returns to the Entire, a vast flat world, ruled by the malign Tarig and peopled by a gallimaufry of sentients, and lit by the Bright. The Tarig seem to have an unhealthy interest in our universe, which they call the Rose, as they have added beings based on humans to their mix. And a few other organisms copied from the Rose. Many of the people under their thumbs believe that God is a demiurge to be appeased. For them a blessing is “God be not looking at you.”
Titus embarks on a picaresque across the Entire to find his wife, Johanna, and his daughter, Sydney, As he recovers his memories, he also discovers that he is a pivotal personage between the Bright and the Rose. So was his wife. So is his daughter. Titus himself acts more and more like a traditional hero. Which means only he can save the world, or discover a conveniently placed escape tunnel, or survive the extended Terminator-like chase at the end.
As Sydney’s adventures had nothing to do with Quinn, they seemed like a distraction. Presumably they will meet up eventually, but so far I think she could have had her own book. Except most multi-character epics cut between the various actors according to time sequence. The only examples I can think of where large sections or entire volumes of an epic stay with separate sets of characters are The Lord of The Rings, or A Song of Ice and Fire. Do you know of any others?
Tomorrow: Another Hero rears his archetypal head