Peace & Memory

What does Mark W. Tiedemann's Peace and Memory offer? It has an interesting, well thought out universe, a bizarre and entertaining ensemble of characters, thought provoking dialogue on social and political issues, action, adventure, twists, turns, irony, and a hair raising finale.

Which is why, for the life of me, I can't understand why I didn't like it more.

Shipmaster Tamyn Glass simply wants to live her life, run her mostly-legal shipping trade, and stay out of the way of anyone who will make her life complicated. Too bad Benajim Cyanus finds her.

He seeks her out to tell her that Sean Merrick, an old friend of Tamyn's, and a wealthy tycoon, and one of the founders of the Commonwealth Republic, is dead. Benajim needs Tamyn's help to illegally bring Merrick's body back to Earth to bury him. But, for the Commonwealth to even acknowledge Merrick's death could rip the government open from the inside out.

And thus the adventure begins.

Tiedemann's universe is divided into three arenas, two physical, and one virtual. The xenophobic Pan Humana is separated from the expansionist Commonwealth Republic by a barrier called the Secant. Permeating both of these worlds to varying degrees is the Flow, a virtual world accessible to almost anyone at the touch of a finger.

To succeed in this reality, a ship must master working in the real, and in the virtual, at the same time. Ships attack each other with cannons and with computer viruses simultaneously. Crewmembers with implants in their brains to connect them directly to the Flow have to keep one eye open to see what's happening in the room around them, while controlling the ship and hacking into high security computer systems with their minds.

How can Tamyn breech the Secant without being seen? Can she trust Benajim Cyanus, a stranger with no memory of his life before he met Sean Merrick?

Tiedemann is a fine writer. It is no wonder that on the cover of his new book, he has blurbs from the likes of Laurell K. Hamilton and David Brin. All of the things I listed in the opening paragraph are there and more.

But, for some reason, the book just didn't hook me. I had to make myself read the book in spurts and stops over a period of two weeks. I feel like saying "it's not you Mr. Tiedemann, it's me. Can we still be friends?"

Peace & Memory by Mark W. Tiedemann
Published by: Meisha Merlin Publishing; July 2003
Author's Webpage: marktiedemann.com

About Joe Murphy

Joe Murphy succumbed to leiomyosarcoma on April 1, 2007. The irony of this is not lost on any who knew him and laughed with him. He was the first “official” book reviewer for The Dragon Page Radio Talk Show, and after moving to Arizona, he became a frequent contributor to Cover to Cover, Wingin’ It, Slice of SciFi and co-host of Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas.

He will be missed.

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