A skilled SF author who's been publishing novels since 1987, John Barnes seems underrated in the field--perhaps because he is so versatile. His 1990s work included the disaster blockbuster Mother of Storms
, the doom-ridden political tragedy Earth Made of Glass
, and--the only whimsical fantasy to rival William Goldman's The Princess Bride
--Barnes's One for Morning Glory
Finity could be called his Philip K. Dick novel. Opening in a future where Hitler won and American expats huddle in the remaining free countries like New Zealand, it features several Dick-style chatty machines and what seems to be an increasing breakdown of reality. The hero Lyle Peripart, an "abductive logic" expert, confronts the great mystery of 2062: what happened to the USA, which is vaguely accepted as still existing but can't be visited, can't be phoned, can't even be thought about for long?
Soon Peripart faces assassination, but some of the forces manipulating the world seem to be on his side--his own gentle fiancée saves him by switching mysteriously into an armed secret agent with hair-trigger reflexes, and back again. All the people our hero knows have mutually incompatible pasts ... Answers await within the former USA, whose idealistic Department for the Pursuit of Happiness did something deeply strange to quantum reality: Peripart joins a crazy expedition to learn just what. The ultimate surprises are daft and delightful. This is great fun. --David Langford
A gripping alternative future from one of the great ideas men of the genre