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by Michael J Sullivan

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Tachyon Publications
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5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)



Ellis Rogers is a seemingly ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing. But when he is faced with a terminal illness, Ellis is willing to take an insane gamble. He's secretly built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a utopian world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and what the cost of paradise really might be.

Ellis could find more than a cure for his disease; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time has begun — but only if he can survive the Hollow World.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fantasy author Sullivan (the Riyria Revelations series) takes a stab at science fiction, introducing a man who travels through time in hopes of curing his terminal lung cancer. Intending to go 200 years into the future, Ellis Rogers winds up in the year 4078, where a utopic underground civilization has “no war, no discrimination, no disease, no pollution, no violence, no class warfare.” Yet Ellis immediately witnesses a murder, involving him in a scheme that will affect the nature of the entire Hollow World. Well paced and exciting for the first half, the story fluctuates between a crawl and a race in the second half, leaving some questions unanswered. Sullivan’s heavy reliance on contemporary references (including Winnie-the-Pooh, Star Wars, and Lost) is distracting, but his old-fashioned utopian allegory will please readers who share his views on same-sex love (he’s for it) and fascism (he’s against it). (Apr.)

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    Read an Excerpt


    Excerpt from Hollow World, chapter four


    “Everyone just stay back.”

    “Darwin—has to be.”

    “Anyone see the attack?”

    “No. I was the one who reported it—who requested help. We didn’t see it, though. They were like that when we found them.”

    “And you’re part of the same group?”

    “Gale University—I’m leading a class in ancient history. We were on a field trip.”

    “All right, you can do us a favor and just continue with that. Stay clear of this side of the park, okay?”

    “Is it really a Darwin?”

    “We don’t know what we’re dealing with yet, so please give us room.”

    Ellis opened his eyes and found the blue sky, now decorated with pretty balls of white cotton. The light was different, the sun having moved well to the west so that the trees and farmhouse were casting long shadows. His chest was better. He could breathe again, yet everything else felt sore.

    “Pax—open eyes here.”

    “Okay, everyone just relax.” The person speaking was the closest of those around him, but still about thirty feet away.

    A dozen people had gathered near the old farmhouse, two standing closer than the rest and all looking identical. Each shared the same soft face with big, dark eyes, short noses, and tan-brown skin as if some Middle Eastern mother had popped out an Irish Catholic-sized brood of identical duodecaplets.

    They were all dressed oddly, with several not dressed at all. Some just wore hats, or scarves, or coats. One was dressed all in bright yellow. Another had a full ensemble of red and white stripes—right down to shoes, which made Ellis think of Dr. Seuss. None of them had a single strand of hair, and just like the first pair of androgynous manikins, these new visitors also appeared to have been made by Mattel.

    Ellis wondered if he was having a dream of the Wizard of Oz variety. Everyone looked vaguely like a bald version of the lady doctor who had told him he was going to die. Maybe he had never time traveled at all. Any minute he could wake up surrounded by Warren, Peggy, and the doctor so he could say, “And you were there, and you, and you.”

    “We should get more help,” said one of the two nearest, who wore just a satchel hanging from one shoulder, a frightened look, and a decorative tattoo. Both spoke in the same fashion as the others.

    “Give me a minute, okay,” the closer of the two replied. He, she, or it wore a full set of clothes, at least. Some strange getup pulled from a Sherlock Holmes story consisting of a long black frock coat, silver vest, white trousers, wing shirt, gray tie, and a bowler hat. Maybe Ellis had accidentally crashed a wedding or really had gone back in time. So what if Hoffmann didn’t think it was possible.

    “Pax! Don’t go near it. If that’s a Darwin, we don’t know what it’ll do. It’s already killed one person.”

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