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At 11:46:01 California time on a foggy Monday in January 1986, the universe — suddenly, inexplicably, without warning — bifurcated. Fast-forward to thirty-five years later: Felix Sayers is a culinary writer living in San Francisco of Universe A who spends his days lunching at Coconut Café and dreaming of a successful career penning Agatha Christie-style mysteries. But everything changes when his Aunt Henrietta dies, leaving Felix a photograph of his father and himself — dated ten days before Felix was born. It ...
At 11:46:01 California time on a foggy Monday in January 1986, the universe — suddenly, inexplicably, without warning — bifurcated. Fast-forward to thirty-five years later: Felix Sayers is a culinary writer living in San Francisco of Universe A who spends his days lunching at Coconut Café and dreaming of a successful career penning Agatha Christie-style mysteries. But everything changes when his Aunt Henrietta dies, leaving Felix a photograph of his father and himself — dated ten days before Felix was born. It can only mean one thing: Felix has an “alter” in Universe B. In a panic that his mystery novel may exist already, Felix crosses to San Francisco B and proceeds to flagrantly violate the rules of both worlds by snooping around his alter’s life. But when he narrowly escapes a hit-and-run, it becomes clear that someone knows he’s crossed over…and whoever it is isn’t happy about it. With the help of a trio of students and a Miss Marple - style detective, Felix must uncover the truth about his alter, the events of one Monday, and a wayward rubber duck before his time in both worlds runs out.
“A witty and light ‘what if’ novel stuffed with an amusing and eclectic cast of characters.” - Publishers Weekly, in a review of Regarding Ducks and Universes in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.
Posted September 18, 2012
Every Fall I am overcome by the yearning for something more. I've had enough of the Summer speed-reads, and I want something more meaningful, about people like the ones I know and care about. Before I moved to the Keys, this annual literary shift came at about the same time we lit our first fire in the fireplace, and books read in front of a blazing hearth had to be richer and more substantial somehow. The latest Dick Fransis novel used to come out about the same time of year, and so I fondly associate his mysteries with the warmth of a fire in the fireplace. Here in the Florida Keys, Autumn means I can sit comfortably on the back deck in the afternoon, overlooking the ocean, and truly enjoy the warmth of the sun.
This Fall I discovered Regarding Ducks & Universes, and for a number of reasons, this delightful read took me back to those giant Putnum hardbacks (My Kindle is SO much easier to handle!) by Dick Fransis. Sure, there's a mystery (well, actually several), and it is Science Fiction too (with the clear emphasis on the science), but at it's heart, like every DF novel, Regarding Ducks & Universes is about real people, living real lives, thinking about what real people think about as they make their way through Life, the Universe, and Everything. This was a great read (for any time of year), and I'm looking forward to more by Neve Maslakovic!
Posted March 4, 2011
This is a great, lighthearted debut novel. The title is kind of odd, but I suppose that's why it caught my eye. The writing is smart and humorous, with more emphasis on dialogue than description (which reminds me a bit of Asimov in that respect). This is not gritty, hard-boiled science fiction, but rather a light, fun story about a mild-mannered culinary writer who finds himself in various unexpected predicaments as he surreptitiously investigates his "alter" in a recently discovered parallel universe. One of the things I liked most about Regarding Ducks and Universes is that it's the kind of book one could recommend to anyone--no extreme violence, language, political message, etc.--which I can't say for a lot of books these days.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 17, 2011
Regarding Ducks and Universes is a rare breed: a fun, intellectually stimulating, sci-fi mystery. While the mystery aspect of the book doesn't seem fully developed, the philosophy behind the book is intriguing. What if we had alternates in other universes? Would they be just like us, or would they have chosen to pursue other avenues such as career choices, life partners, or hobbies? How much of what we are is in our genes and how much is a product of our environment. Maslakovic attempts to answer these questions in an entertaining way. Those readers who are looking for something new in sci-fi should check this book out.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 23, 2011
We all assume from birth that we are one of a kind, but how would we react if we suddenly found out we weren't an original? There is someone out there with your name, your look, your interests running around? This is how Felix feels when he suddenly learns of Felix B. In the world Felix lives in, "alters", are common for older people in his world. But he recently found out he was old enough to have this doppelganger in a parallel universe (Universe B).
As Felix takes a trip to this alternate universe (a commonplace activity), he not only learns about the differences in the worlds but learns there could be more to his history than he ever could have believed possible. Take a wild trip with a could have been actress, a college student, an almost-dog, and the Felixes on a ride through reality that could leave your head spinning. Maslakovic takes a well known theory on multiple universes, adds his own twists and weaves a tale that will leave you on the edge of your seat.