Review of Chords of Infinity
‘Chords of Infinity’ was written by Stephan Godden under the pen name T.F. Grant and published by Firedance Books in 2015. It’s a lean 170-page collection of science fiction stories running the gamut from a near-future tale involving an old woman’s loss of her longtime mate to sentient interstellar space hulks vying for freedom from their enslavement at the hands of their cruel masters. Like all good science fiction, there’s plenty of today in Grant’s tomorrows. And there isn’t a story I didn’t enjoy, and there are more than a few that are simply excellent.
Two words: ‘Felix and Lucius.’ Well, that’s three in actuality, but you don’t have to focus on the ‘and.’ Focus on the other two because they are, together, the prime reason to read ‘Chords of Infinity.’ The duo takes center stage in ‘Felix and Lucius: Entanglements’ and ‘Felix and Lucius: Belonging.’
Do you like cyberpunk? Well, I do, and Felix and Lucius are cyberpunk at its best. Lucius is your standard 117-year-old master sleuth, and Felix is your typical, run-of-the-mill, sentient combat-chassisied cybernetic panther. Together, they solve crimes in a post-apocalyptic nightmare vision of London.
Now for a moment, forget those crimes (which are invariably horrific). Forget the breakneck pacing(it’s sleek and swift). Forget the slick action and incredible settings (one story takes place on a derelict ocean liner that’s been reduced to low-income housing). And forget the numb-skulled cop foils who never quite grasp exactly what’s going on behind the lush curtains of red-taped intrigue that the duo perpetually slash right through. For me, the best that ‘Felix and Lucius’ offers is the interplay between the two titular characters.
Felix and Lucius have some sort of quantum mind meld that allows them to read each other’s thoughts via internal IM. So as Lucius is externally verbally slashing some jacked-up flatfoot or grilling some vampish femme fatale, he and Felix are also internally bouncing spitfire patter between each other. It makes for some simply awesome scenes where you feel like you’re watching a verbal ping pong match on fast forward being played with panache by a triad of masters.
Throughout ‘Chords of Infinity,’ Grant does not spell everything out for you. He does not inundate you with description. He will not bore you with info dumps. What he does do is ask you to trust him as a storyteller. What he does do is ask you to sit back and get comfortable and put on your seatbelt. You’re in good hands with him behind the wheel.