The king of high-concept sci-fi returns with a mind-bending thriller that questions the very notion of reality – or what we perceive as such. Across the globe, individuals are falling victim to a terrifying virus called FMS, False Memory Syndrome. Those afflicted claim to possess impossibly detailed memories of alternate lives lived – experiences and relationships that do not exist yet feel real and, in some cases, preferable to their present existence. Many bemoan the loss of loved ones, wives, even children they once had that have seemingly disappeared in a blink.
For Detective Barry Sutton who investigates one such case, it’s the opposite. He has never gotten over the loss of his young daughter, killed by a hit and run driver so many years ago. So when he is struck by FMS and seemingly returns to that tragic night, can he change what happened and craft a new reality? And what would be the results?
Meanwhile, we are offered insight into the origins of FMS through flashbacks focused on neuroscientist Helena Smith who takes up an offer from a mysterious benefactor to pursue research that could help those afflicted with dementia (including her long-suffering mother).
The timelines – two at first, then multifarious – cross and converge, dissipate and reform, stutter, stop, and restart in a challenging, occasionally convoluted, story about humanity’s ability to shape its reality. The plot may seem fantastic and far-fetched, but its theoretical grounding makes Recursion truly thought-provoking. And, yes, while it does get damned confusing at times, the pacing never flags and the book is a rewarding read.
Release date: June 11, 2019