By Wolfgang Jeschke
Tor, $25.99, 544 pages
In The Cusanus Game, the world as we know it is slowly dying thanks to the spreading radioactivity from an atomic accident in Germany. Despite huge advances in technology to aid in the cleanup, scientists can’t keep up with the destruction. Entire plant and animal species are being wiped out, organic mutations are becoming more frequent, and violent political groups gain more and more sway. Domenica Ligrina, a botanist in Rome, signs up for a top secret research group sponsored by the Vatican, and discovers that hope for the future must come from the past.
“His greeting had been genuine and spontaneous. Still…I was completely certain that I’d never seen him before, and yet he seemed somehow familiar to me. How was this possible?”
Wolfgang Jeschke’s The Cusanus Game is a complicated and layered tale filled with speculation on the technical, philosophical, and psychological ramifications of time travel. The book starts out slowly, setting the stage for the desperate state of the world, but picks up as Domenica begins her training and her own travels through time. Through Domenica the reader is able to investigate ideas of cause and effect, and the fluid nature of time. Not a science fiction book for casual readers, Jeschke has created a story that has a haunting beauty and is extremely thought provoking.
Reviewed by Whitney Smyth