Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Blasphemy-Douglas J. Preston

Blasphemy
Douglas J. Preston
Forge, Jan 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 9780765311054

Physicist Gregory North Hazelius sold the concept of creating a humongous forty billion dollar "superconducting supercollider particle accelerator" based on finding a new source of energy. He knows not to tell anyone about his personal secret agenda behind why he pushed the Isabella project as it is called; he plans to duplicate the Big Bang of creation in order to speak to God.

The Navajo Indian Reservation in the southwest is chosen as the locale for Isabella. Work begins inside the five-hundred-square-mile Red Mesa tableland. However, the project falls behind schedule disturbing DC politicos who bet on its quick success. Presidential science adviser Dr. Stanton Lockwood sends former CIA operative Wyman Ford to investigate why the delay and is there any way to propel the project back on schedule. At the same time, others strongly oppose Isabella fearing the wrath of God. Televangelist Reverend Don Spates claims scientific blasphemy challenging heaven; Navaho shamans share Spates’ fears that the world is coming to an end. These two diverse groups plan to destroy the evil scientists and their blasphemous Isabella before the Armageddon Big Crunch occurs.

This is exciting thriller in which science and religion clash; in many ways the tale is a modernizing of Frankenstein as Isabella is considered the monster by the evangelists and the Navaho while Dr. Hazelius (and twelve other scientists) is the zealous creator. The story line starts slow as the cast is set, but once everyone converges on the southwest, the plot is faster than an atom flying around a supercollider. Fans will enjoy Douglas J. Preston’s entertaining action-packed tale.

Harriet Klausner