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Genius de Milo
by Russ Colchamiro
Crazy 8 Press, 2015, 277 pp
Published: March 2015

This sequel to Finders Keepers is perfectly described as “cosmic lunacy.” If you love to laugh at irreverent, off-beat, sometimes vulgar but never mean, fantasy, this is one to get.

The Universe is in trouble, because, a while ago, a jar containing Cosmic Building Material got loose on earth, and while Theo Barnes and Jason Medley dealt with the problem, there have been after-effects. Theo’s twin daughters have the ability to teleport, and seem to be telepathic as well. Sudden shifts to alternate realities are making it hard for Jason to concentrate on proposing to his girlfriend – as is his memory of a mysterious lost love. And Milo, the spirit of unregulated mischief in an otherwise orderly universe, has decided to be as annoying as possible, since he’s the only one with the imagination and the chutzpah, to oppose The Minder of the Universe. If Milo can get his hands on that missing jar and its contents, he can more or less remake the universe in his own image, or at least wipe out large swaths of the current formation, including that little blue-green planet the Minder is so singularly fond of, as well as all its inhabitants.

Jamie is not important in the cosmic scheme of things; she knows this, and she’s okay with that. But she misses her brother, Lex, who voluntarily accompanied galactic designer Emma to her punishment-exile on Earth. Jamie is astonished when the Minder himself chooses her to go down to Earth to save it from Milo’s machinations, but if it gives her a chance to find and rescue Lex, how can she decline?

As those alternate reality shifts become more frequent, Theo and Jason realize they are running out of time, and more than one character begins to seriously wonder if the Minder of the Universe isn’t… overdue for retirement. But what exactly would that mean for the universe? Without an observer, would it cease to exist?

Full of lively character depictions and hilarious, spot-on descriptions of social phenomena, Genius de Milo is a joyous romp. ~~ Chris R. Paige

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