Kay Kenyon's The Entire and the Rose: Part of a Modern Classic?

Jeff VanderMeer on May 18, 2008

          Kenyon1 Kenyon2_2 

Imagine "a five-armed radial universe that exists in a dimension without stars and planets and is parallel to our own universe. Stretched over the Entire is a lid of plasma, called the bright, under which live many galactic species, copied from our own universe."

Can't imagine that? Okay, it's tough for me, too, and I was reading Isaac Asimov when I was three while benchpressing a copy of Stranger in a Strange Land.

Okay, how about this instead: Kay Kenyon's Bright of the Sky and just-released A World Too Near feature a brilliant SF setting that rivals Larry Niven's Ringworld and Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series for sheer invention, adventure, complexity, and a sense of wonder.

The storyline involves the Quinn family--it is Titus Quinn who breaches the divide between our universe and the Entire. It's Titus who must go back to try to save his wife and battle his daughter, who found her way to the Entire in book one. In addition to the evolving family dynamic, there are wars going on between rival factions of alien species. Not to mention a continuing exploration of the strangeness that is the Entire.

Here's a short excerpt:

Above the fortress the sky dimmed to lavender, a time that passed for night in this world. Here every creature knew by their internal clock what time of night or day it was, all but Johanna Quinn, a woman of Earth. Between this universe and the next only a thin wall intervened, a permanent storm that forbade contact between Earth and the Entire. Or so most believed.

Johanna hurried down deserted corridors following the heavy drumbeat of the engine just ahead, a bass thrumming that pounded in her ears and the hollow of her chest. Coming to a divide in the hall she took the left branch, remembering her partial and wholly inadequate map. This hall too was deserted, and she rushed on. She prayed not to be discovered, although she had her alibi, thin as it might be.

Continue reading at the author's website.

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