Geosynchron: the finale of the Jump 225 Trilogy

When you’re an unpublished writer and someone you know gets a book published, it’s a tough thing.  If you like the person, you should support them and buy the book.  But it can still leave you feeling a bit ambiguous, in that they are successful in a field that you have not found success in yet.  It makes it a hell of a lot easier when the book is good.  I’ve known David Louis Edelman for close to thirty years.  He has been a friend of both me and my sister and his sister is one of my dearest friends.  That said, my full-on recommendation of his Jump 225 Trilogy, which concludes with Geosynchron, has nothing to do with that connection.  It did have something to do with why I heard about it in the first place and read the first one.  But it is my enthusiasm for the series, my joy at what I have read over the course of the three novels, and the notion that this book is great fun that leads me to encourage people to read it.  And I am most certainly encouraging people to read it.  If you ask for a book at the Brookline Booksmith, I’ll recommend it.  I’m writing about it here so you can go find it.  I’ve put in an official recommendation to Indiebound, the official brochure of Independent bookstores.

As I mentioned a year and a half ago in my review of Multireal, the second book, this series passes the Hunt for Red October test (go the that review here if that confuses you).  Just before I started Geosynchron, I flipped to the back and read the handy synopsis of the first two books so that the story would be fresh.  But the nice thing was that I didn’t need to use the convenient Glossary in the book.  Because as I read, so many of the terms seemed to flow so smoothly.  Yes, this is a futuristic novel.  Yes, the world has changed drastically and most of the society in the book is connected, through Bio/Logic programs to the rest of the world.  It helps them with health, travel, work, relationships.  But reading the third book, not only could I remember what a lot of the terms meant, they seemed to naturally flow from the world we currently live in.  This is Science Fiction, with the emphasis on the Science.  This is the world that could someday happen.  Everything in this book is a logical (though not necessarily preferable) extension of today’s society.

So that takes care of the Science aspect.  What about the fiction?  Well, the fiction is one hell of a story.  Through the first two books we’ve followed Natch through his ascent to the top of his field, to becoming the trusted confidante of the world’s richest woman and entrusted with amazing new technology, and his fall, dis-trusted by those around him, fleeing from everyone, lost, alone.  He is separated from those he has worked with and the narrative splits to give us various different stories.  We learn the back story that has lead to the release of Multireal, the amazing new program that allows people to experience multiple realities.  But we have also seen the terrible danger and the final volume consists of a civil war between Len Borda, the tyrant who has ruled most of the planet for several decades, and his trusted lieutenant, Magan Kai Lee, who is making his own play for power.  Set against this rebellion is the potential release of Multireal onto the Data Sea.

In the first book, the initial release of Multireal leads to the first Infoquake, a tremor through the technological world that keeps people whole, leading to thousands of deaths.  With the potential release of the progam for anyone to use, the potential is there for worldwide catastrophe.  Magan, seen ostensibly as one of the villains in the first two volumes, comes to the aid of Natch and his co-workers.  But the rebellion is only a minor play before the real final struggle between Natch and his childhood tormentor, Brone.  They both have the power to use Multireal and their decisions will impact all of humanity.

That’s really only the framework of the story.  The synopsis of the first two books takes up 9 pages.  David skimps neither on story nor on characterization.  If Natch stills remains an enigma, right up until the end, it is only because he is an enigma to himself, at one point changing his entire life and focusing on one single mission that even he can’t quite explain.

But what makes the book is the little moments.  I called my review of Multireal, Possibilities 2.0, because that is the version of the program that Brone is ready to release and it seemed to sum up the book quite nicely.  This title comes from a thought one of the character has as she is able to extricate herself from a bad situation: “A clean break from Possibilities.”  The capitalization of the word seems to indicate the program, but the line says so much more.  When many of Natch’s old colleagues head to Manila, beyond the unconnectible curtain, they find themselves surrounded by two armies and I was reminded of Pippin, shut up in Gondor, watching the armies of darkness come to surround him in night.  As we learn more about the relationship between Quell and Margaret Surina, she says to him “Don’t you see?  We can pursue this dream together.  We can united the world.  We can fulfill the destiny of the Surinas and achieve Perfection.”  It reminded me very much of the words of one Lord Vader to his son.  And that and so much more, right up to the final lines, the world we are left with, the final words of Natch, ever so appropriate for his character.