Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tumbling After [BOOKS]

I picked up a copy of Paul Witcover's Tumbling After for two reasons: it was $ 2 in the bargain bin and it had gaming dice on the cover. Reading it several months later (the first book I've finished here in Australia), I have to say I'm simply stunned by how good it is. Part of the story concerns the Doone twins, 12-year-old kids staying at a beach house during a stormy summer at the end of the 1970s. Part of the story concerns a fantasy world where five mutant races fight an endless war against the psibertronically-enhanced soldiers of the human leader Pluribus Unum. Whether and how these two parts interconnect and interweave is the heart of the book, and it is told with sheer genius. This is not "gaming fiction"; it is a dark and sometimes heart-wrenching tale that uses role-playing games as a plot point and a crucial device to further the story. It's one of those books that sticks with you, and although I'm being intentionally vague as to story details to avoid spoilers, it is definitely worth seeking out.