Adventures in Time and Space with Max Merriwell

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Cruise into murder, mayhem, and alternate realities.

Award-winning author Pat Murphy takes us aboard a luxury cruise ship and into the strange confluence of time and space known as the Bermuda Triangle, in an engaging science fiction romp that recalls the work of Kate Wilhelm.

Susan Galina and her friend Pat have escaped their normal lives into the elegant, isolated world of the Odyssey, a luxury cruise ship heading from NY to Europe via ...

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Overview

Cruise into murder, mayhem, and alternate realities.

Award-winning author Pat Murphy takes us aboard a luxury cruise ship and into the strange confluence of time and space known as the Bermuda Triangle, in an engaging science fiction romp that recalls the work of Kate Wilhelm.

Susan Galina and her friend Pat have escaped their normal lives into the elegant, isolated world of the Odyssey, a luxury cruise ship heading from NY to Europe via Bermuda. Pat is working on her doctoral thesis in quantum physics, and Susan is recovering from a recent and unhappy divorce.

To Susan's delight, she discovers that her favorite author, Max Merriwell, is also aboard ship, teaching writers' workshop. Susan's life becomes even more interesting when she meets Tom Clayton, the handsome chief of security. This cruise looks very promising indeed.

But the pleasant shipboard vacation turns dark as the Odyssey passes into the Bermuda Triangle. Each year, Max Merriwell writes three novels: a science fiction novel under his own name, a fantasy novel under the pseudonym Mary Maxwell, and a mystery novel under the pseudonym Weldon Merrimax. The trouble begins when Max receives a threatening note that appears to come from Weldon Merrimax, Max's own pseudonym. Susan hears wolves howling in the night, the ship's passengers are seized with a dancing mania, and monsters lurk in the ship's corridors. An eyewitness reports a murder—but the victim of the crime is not on the passenger list and the body is nowhere to be found. While others struggle to understand these strange events, Pat seeks the explanation in quantum theory.

Out of these elements, Murphy builds a suspenseful, funny, fast-paced novel of shifting and intersecting realities that is a joy to read.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this cerebral equivalent of a roller-coaster ride from Nebula-winner Murphy (Wild Angel), Susan Galina, a quiet librarian with a repressed imagination, faces all sorts of amusing, thought-provoking challenges on a cruise through the Bermuda Triangle. Susan falls for the ship's security officer, attends a writing class taught by Max Merriwell (her favorite author), is stalked by one of Merriwell's seemingly autonomous, pseudonymous alter egos, and along the way reinvents herself. The novel's surface, however, is not smooth; it loops back onto itself beautifully. Pat Murphy is on the cruise and also a character in a book by Merriwell, as well as the author of these Adventures. The title of these Adventures is the title of a book that Merriwell dreams that he has written. The narrative is replete with absorbing ponderings on the nature of reality and the nature of the novel. "Fiction writers are all liars," Merriwell says at one point. "People tend to forget that." Furthermore, all people are liars rewriting their own lives, whether with small lies or more complex ones. Characters in novels are lies who can lie, but they can be just as real as people outside novels. In this book obsessed with books, the questions of who is in charge, who is real and whether the answers to those questions matter will leave readers pleasantly dizzy. (Nov. 6) Forecast: In addition to literate SF fans with a sense of humor, this good-natured romp should appeal to those whose tastes run to the metafictional. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Newly divorced and seeking a change in her life, Susan Galina accompanies her friend Pat on a vacation cruise that turns into a bizarre encounter with shifting realities and multiple possibilities. As the ship enters the Bermuda Triangle, mysterious occurrences challenge the perceptions of the passengers, and Susan must face her own uncertainties before she can sort out the chaotic forces that threaten her friends and her newfound happiness. Murphy (There and Back Again, Wild Angel) here completes her triptych of novels that pays homage to classic tales of adventure and whimsy with an eerie mystery that recalls the works of Lewis Carroll and the theories of quantum physics. Highly recommended for sf collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
As promised last time out, Murphy ties together both of her latest books (There and Back Again, 1999, and The Wild Angel, 2000) in this quasi-metafiction involving the I Ching, parallel universes, wolves, personal growth, literary games, and whatall. Laid-off, recently divorced librarian Susan Galina, having won a trip aboard the cruise ship Odyssey, takes her friend, physics graduate student Pat Murphy, along too. Also aboard ship, to teach a writing workshop, is "Weldon Merrimax", a.k.a. SF writer Max Merriwell-he writes fantasy as Mary Maxwell and mainstream-noir as Weldon Merrimax. Soon enough, the ship enters the Bermuda triangle. Susan becomes acquainted with the ship's attractive, competent security officer, Tom Clayton, and meets an unpleasant character called-Weldon Merrimax. Later, Tom must investigate when another passenger complains that Weldon Merrimax has fleeced him at cards. And then Mary Maxwell shows up, befriending the insecure Susan. Once again Tom goes into action when witnesses describe how Weldon Merrimax murders Pat Murphy-not Susan's physicist friend, but apparently a character out of a book by Mary Maxwell. Still another . . . but you'll get the idea. Will Weldon achieve his obscure aims, and will Susan shrug off her inhibitions and get together with Tom? And just how many Pat Murphys are there? Amusing, sometimes, and well handled but not really puzzling or enlightening: the sort of book where, halfway through all the shenanigans, you'll either care desperately or not at all.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812541731
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 11/12/2002
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 4.12 (w) x 6.64 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Murphy has won numerous awards for her science fiction and fantasy writing, including the Nebula Award for best novel, the Philip K. Dick Award for best paperback original, and the World Fantasy Award. Her past novels include The Falling Woman, and most recently There and Back Again and Wild Angel. When she is not writing science fiction, Pat Murphy writes for the Exploratorium, San Francisco's museum of science, art, and human perception. She lives in San Francisco, California.

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