by Loren W. Cooper


by Loren W. Cooper


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Zethus is a sorcerer—a self-described spiritual thug for hire. He makes his living in CrossTown, a place where the manyworld hypothesis of modern physics manifests itself, where possibilities and probabilities overlap. Caught up in a web of intrigue as he investigates the death of his master, Corvinus, and pursued by agents that want to erase all knowledge of Corvinus’s work, Zethus discovers that the key to his master’s murder lies in the last project he had pursued before his death. Th e roots of this project lie deep in the past, at the origin of CrossTown’s fractured reality. Once he understands the stakes, Zethus must make the dangerous journey to the cradle of history. The price he must pay to find the answers he seeks will threaten everything he holds dear—including his own humanity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781939096029
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 11/14/2017
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Loren W. Cooper is the author of three novels, one short story collection, and one nonfiction work. He is a member of the SFWA. He won the 2001 EPPIE for Best Anthology, the NESFA short story contest in 1998 for “The Lives of Ghosts” (title story of the anthology), and placed in the Altair short story contest with “Lanikaula and the Powers of Lanai,” a fantasy short story based on Hawaiian myth. The Gates of Sleep, his first published novel, was nominated for the Endeavor award in 2002. Other novels include A Slow and Silent Stream (2003) and A Separate Power (2004). The Lives of Ghosts and Other Shades of Memory appeared on the Real Best Seller's List in 2004. He holds a Master of the Fine Arts in fiction from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, with degrees in English, Physics, and Russian Studies. Currently he works as a Global Systems Engineering Manager at HP Inc. Loren is married with two daughters and lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Read an Excerpt

From CrossTown

All roads may lead to Rome, but they pass through CrossTown first.

Roads and streets run like veins and arteries through the beating heart of CrossTown. Each runs through all manner of distant and not-so-distant possibilities.

There's a theory in modern physics that posits a universe for every decision we make. Each time we choose, right or left, vanilla or chocolate, high or low, we split into separate universes. A vanilla me here, a chocolate me there, a rocky road with pistachio me somewhere else, and some poor lactose intolerant me further down the line. The dominant me is my subjective reality. In CrossTown, the probable mes collapse into the dominant wave, but all those wandering Ways continually wash other alternate lives, lives meant to be lived in CrossTown, up on its jagged shores.

The names of roads are choices; the turning and branching of roads are choices; roads are physical manifestations of their builders’ decisions. Think of roads like Loxis Falangos and Agiou Nikolaou in my home town of Thebes, flowing together to become Epameinonda. In one possibility, Loxis Falangos dominates, and Epameinonda doesn't exist. In another, Loxis Falangos takes the lead. In a third, Loxis Falangos flows into Epameinonda, and Agiou Nikolaou never carried any merry wanderers on its narrow back.

Think that's unique? Name a town. Take Longfellow and Hawthorne in Saint Louis, Missouri, which flow together, meld, then reappear as separate streets. In one possibility, Hawthorne is the single remaining street. In another, Longfellow takes the name of the blended road. The other road, the road not chosen, wanders off through possibility. In Eugene, Oregon, Tenth Street vanishes into a hill, then reappears on the other side. Broadway murders Ninth and has hidden its body and killed its name. In Frankfurt, as with many old cities, roads change names as they run merrily along, belying their age by twisting and turning like young byways through narrow spaces, desperate to keep their figures trim, caught in a race for eternal youth, spinning off alternate possibilities like dream factories.

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