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Mini-review from Don Muchow, Editor of Would That It Were

A nice mini-review from Don Muchow, who edits — or used to edit — Would That It Were, an alternate history ezine to which in contributed a couple of stories. I’m afraid this didn’t make it up on his site before he shut the enterprise down, but here are his comments:

The Amadeus Net manages to do in a very short space what some novel series don’t manage to do: enthrall the reader on every page with yet one more twist in an increasingly unlikely, yet strangely compelling story. In the tradition of Rayner’s work in the Emily Chesley Reading Circle, a sort of group “shaggy dog story”, The Amadeus Net follows the lives of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (a.k.a. William Armstrong, now 250 years old and bored and considering a sex change to hide his identity from the paparazzi), and a small circle of people living in Ipolis, a Utopian city run by an idiosyncratic computer who plays favorites and can’t manage to keep its fingers out of global politics. Mozart is followed by a number of thrill seekers and gold-diggers, each of whom owes to him a certain amount of their own raison d’etre. Hanging over all of this is the continuing threat of an incipient global war that seems all but inevitable. Within this world, Mozart manages to recover his muse, find true love with a woman who thinks she is a lesbian (she’s not sure), and comes to terms with the revealing of his identity as the world crumbles down around him.

The Amadeus Net starts out with a preposterous and surreal premise and ends with piercing insight into the abjectly pointless pursuits to which many of us devote our entire lives. It’s a book about what to believe in when nothing is believable. The answer: music — which somehow we realize our hero always knew.