This is a wonderful story. If anyone ever asked me, “What is this science fiction thing about? What kinds of things are covered in science fiction?,” I would surely recommend this book. Einsteinian physics, the nature of reality, post-apocalypse, time travel, dystopia, utopia, alternate universes, and even steam punk all take a bow in this amazing tale of one Hodgins “Hodge” Backmaker, who wants to be a historian in a world where the South won the Civil War. The pedantic writing of the opening quickly evaporates, leaving a dry wit and a thoughtful voice that examines ideas freely and in depth. Although I was a little disappointed that I guessed the ending eighty percent in, it was still a very rewarding read.
My favorite part of this world was the scholarly Haggershaven, where creative people of all stripe and background sequester themselves to further their own studies. All of them contributed to the survival of this little enclave by doing chores, working crops, or doing odd jobs in town. For me, it was utopic.
Moore’s prose is free and is also given rein to say what it needs to say. He doesn’t parse words. A good writing lesson – Writer, give yourself room to say what you need to say.