Down the Bright Way (1991)

DtBW has a really neat concept, which was what sold me on reading the book in the first place, but I must admit I bounced pretty heftily from the first part of the book. This is partly because one of the main characters, the first one at the start, is a pathetic fuck-up of a person who isn’t really interesting to read about in any way. Combine this with a plot that does only get interesting halfway into the book and you see the problem I had. The book is about a dimensional pathway connecting countless alternate versions of Earth. Along this pathway a group of travelers, the Wanderers, come in search of those who created the pathway (often called the Bright). From their own Earth they started in two directions, and one group has reached our Earth. Now, for half of the book we see a pathetic fuck-up masquerading as a Wanderer. When he and a girl get to meet the leader of the Wanderers, someone hijacks the whole group and things heat up.

While I never got what I wished for, that the creators of the Bright were found and the reasons for creating the Bright were explained, the second half of the book has some excellent ideas (concerning the group of Wanderers that went the other way on the Bright). I won’t divulge them, because, as always, discovering those is part of the fun. While I thought the motivations of the hijackers for doing what they did were rather outlandish, it didn’t bother me too much. At the end of the novel I felt a bit mollified by some of the cool things from the second half, but it’s not a novel I would recommend. It’s okay and I don’t regret reading it in the end, but the plot structure could have been handled better to utilize the neat concepts and ideas.