(2000) John Barnes, Victor Gollancz, £9.99, trdpbk, 303pp, ISBN 0-575-06891-4
In 2063, in an alternate future following Hitler winning World War II, Lyle Peripart is employed by tycoon Geoffrey Iphwin to solve certain problems using abductive reasoning, in which Peripart is an expert. The main problem seems to be that the United States has been missing for 30 years, and nobody seems to have noticed! Chased by Reich Officer Billie Beard, Peripart and his fiance are sent through a number of realities which all appear to be bleeding into one another, until it becomes clear that the only way to solve the mystery of the missing USA is to go there... if possible. Barnes has great fun in this lightweight genre romp, playing with the dodgy consequences of quantum computing, and what the universe(s) might think about it. This is certainly not Barnes’ best form, but is still highly entertaining.
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