Mark Twain may be the most celebrated man in the world, but his alter ego Sam Clemens is tottering through life, disillusioned by the massacres and madness of the human race and stalked by guilt over the deaths of his children, his brother, and his wife. Sam’s friend, the brilliant scientist Nikola Tesla, creates dazzling new technologies that may transform the world--- but as Sam discovers, Tesla’s inventions may not belong to him, but might instead be the calculating creations of an malevolent intelligence from beyond the Earth.
Mark Twain might be able to save the world, but first Sam Clemens must make up his mind whether the “damned human race” is worth saving.
In “The Boolean Gate,” Walter Jon Williams continues his brilliant series of stories about writers, and brings to life the milieu and the towering personalities of America’s Gilded Age.
“This one is 99% historical fact, although readers unfamiliar with the career of Tesla may think it’s the stuff of science fiction. Tesla was a science fiction writer’s dream made flesh, with also a bit of the mad scientist in the mix . . . but the story really belongs to Sam Clemens, who was in fact Tesla’s friend.”
Lois Tilton, Locus
‘‘Despite the Ragtime-like sense of a slice of Gilded Age life among the historically prominent, this really is SF… Once again, Williams demonstrates the range of his writerly chops.’’
Russell Letson, Locus