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Sunday 3 May 2015

‘Tomorrow and Tomorrow’ by Thomas Sweterlitsch

Published by Headline,
17 July 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-4722-1487-4 (TPB)

Not very far in the future: Dominic Blaxton lost his wife and unborn child when Pittsburg was destroyed in a terrrorist nuclear attack. Formerly a poet and publisher, now he works in the City Archive, proving the cause of death in a re-created virtual City. Then he finds footage of the body of a young woman who didn’t die in the blast ...

This highly original sci-fi novel created so convincing a world that I found it followed me into my dreams. It’s close enough to our world to feel real, but technology has exploded (Sweterlitsch’s choice of brand names, like iLux and Adware, was particularly clever, giving a futuristic feel without confusing). Everyone is wired directly to the internet via software in their skull, and surrounded using a retinal camera by advertising, news and images: for example, each time Dom meets a new person, their Facebook page is flashed in front of him. Under the technology is sound plotting: Dom is hired by a Mr Big, Waverly, to find his missing daughter, and becomes the target himself. The gradual unfolding of the story kept me hooked, and Dom was a sympathetic narrator, lost in his grief for his wife. Other characters were equally vivid: enigmatic Albion, the pre-Raphaelite beauty that Dom is trying to trace, and sympathetic psychiatrist Timothy, who introduces Dom to Waverly. The theme of memory – how we keep memories, how exorcise them – filled both characters and plot, there were a number of twists in the tale, and the ending was realistically positive for so sombre a book.

A vivid and original ‘private eye’ story in a Blade Runner setting. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Thomas Sweterlitsch lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and daughter.  He worked for twelve years at the Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  Tomorrow and Tomorrow is his first novel.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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