Fantasy/SF Book Reviews

The Internet Writing Journal, February 2006

The Wave by Walter Mosely

Warner Books, January, 2006
Hardcover, 209 pages
ISBN: 0446533637
Ordering information:
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk


The Wave
 by Walter Mosely Errol Porter was downsized from his computer programming job and his wife left him. He could have found a boring job "doing computers" at a big corporation, but he decided to sell his house, rent out the garage and work on his burgeoning career as a potter. But his life takes a turn for the strange when he starts getting midnight calls from a man who claims that he's Errol's father, who has been dead since 1996. Errol tracks down the caller to the graveyard where his father is buried. The man he meets is a younger version of his father and knows personal details about Errol that only his father would know. Errol eventually discovers that the 20 year-old man is part of the Wave: the upward movement of a buried giant, multi-celled peaceful organism that landed on Earth by accident when a meteor crashed into our planet over a billion years ago. The organism is reanimating corpses to try to communicate and to leave the planet, but Homeland Security doesn't see it that way, treating the events as a full-scale invasion of humankind that will eventually take over the planet if a way to kill the creature(s) isn't found.

Mosely's latest SF story intentionally makes the motivations of the organisms a bit vague. We know what they say they're doing here, but how do we really know that Homeland Security wasn't right all along? After all, most people would object to having their parents re-animated by some alien bacteria. Errol or "Airy" is a likeable enough protagonist, although one would think with the future of humankind at stake, he'd think more about what he's going to do next and less about finding yet another woman to have a passionate affair with. Nevertheless, the premise is interesting and the writing is compelling in this unique story of self-growth.


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