Last fall Jerry Weinberg sent me a review copy of his scifi novel Mistress of Molecules. I pretty much read it straight through, and then didn’t blog for six months so never posted my review. So here goes:
I enjoyed it! Although I guessed the major plot points and some of the details well ahead of their occurrence, I always felt like “Hah! I *knew* that was going to happen!” rather than “Well, duh – what else would have happened?” And I was surprised by other details, including the manner in which what I guessed would happen actually did.
Jerry says he switched from non-fiction to fiction in hopes of finding a wider audience for his ideas and teachings. While I don’t know how he’s doing reach-wise, I clearly see his teachings in the puzzles I saw everywhere as well as the situations in which he put his characters. As Jerry helps Libra and Andre deal with their various life and work problems, realize (some of) what is really going on, and discover new ways to resolve their predicaments, I see clear parallels to his non-fiction books, PSL workshop, and AYE conference. I wish he’d been writing fiction when I was a teenager! Young adults feeling like square pegs being stuffed into round holes struck home for me, and I like to think his teachings would have seeped into my brain and helped me deal with high school and college a little better! As I know is happening for me as I read his books now.
As for those puzzles I mentioned, every character and place name, as well as every sequence of numbers, had me puzzling out its significance. Sometimes this pulled me out of the story, and while I *think* I know the answer for some cases others still have me stumped. Jerry?
What I love most about the best science fiction is that it can be read on (at least) two levels: the surface story, and the underlying manifesto. Mistress of Molecules fulfills that definition of science fiction in spades. Recommended.