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WesternSFA
The Recollection
by Gareth L. Powell
Solaris, $7.99, 363pp
Release Date: August 30, 2011

Millennia ago the Dho fled from our galaxy to escape absorption by the Recollection, an alien group mind which gobbled up the minds of every entity it encountered. Not wanting to leave the developing races completely unprotected it created the network which propagated at light speed and provided arch shaped portals allowing seemingly instantaneous passage over interstellar distances. Their goal was the spread of races throughout space and provide an escape for those who traveled the network. If you entered an arch you might encounter people from hundreds of years in the past or from your future. There would be no going back to the world you knew.

Our story begins in London in the present when the first Earth portal opens in the London Underground. Verne Rico falls into it and enters the Network. His brother Ed and Verne's wife follow him some months later. In their travels, they encounter a member of a U.S. Government Exploratory team sent on a one-way mission and learn about the no-return situation.

Our second story thread begins with a merchant starship owner 400 years in the Future. She is the only known person to escape being absorbed by the Recollection. She is still looking for her mother who did not escape. She meets Verne.

The story explores the relationships of our main characters, the plans of the Dho and the seductive nature of the Recollection's promise of immortality. Our protagonists must solve a number of complex problems if mankind is to survive. The story is complex, fun and completely unpredictable. ~~ Gary Swaty

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