Book Review: Ghost by Piers Anthony (1986)

In his characteristic Author’s Note at the end of the book, Anthony admits:

I wrote “Ghost” the story, about 10,000 words long, somewhere back in 1961….

No doubt. This whole volume smacks of a sixties sensibilty. The Author’s Note describes how long and hard it was for Anthony to get this thing published. It’s not that the book is bad, but it is dated with a sixties sensibility.

The plot deals with a time-traveliing ship, the Meg II, sent into the future to search for a source of energy for the starving planet. And maybe some insight into what happened to the Meg I. The world from which the Meg II launches is a slightly dystopian future, where space travel exists but is looked down upon by earthbound residents as a waste of scarce resources. So far, so good.

But the timeship is rooted to its original time by a psychadelic psychic beacon whose connection to its origin time cannot survive strong emotions from crewmembers. So it goes without saying that the free-love rules will lead to strong emotions, and there’s a suicide, and suddenly the ship finds another entity moving through time. A galaxy, or a ghost. Once the ship meets the entity, suddenly it’s a bad acid trip having something to do with the Seven Deadly Sins and when the crew groks understands the nature of the entity, the book ends.

Incarnations of Immortality, it ain’t.

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