In 1946, injured WWII veteran John Rolfe discovers a dimensional portal to an alternate Earth where the North American continent is untouched by modern civilization. Rolfe gathers his former Baker Company buddies to develop the natural resources of the new dimension.
Flash forward to the year 2009. California Fish & Game Warden Tom Christiansen and his partner Roy Tully are in Los Angeles on a sting operation. They've been told about a warehouse of merchandise made from endangered species. When an unknown incendiary device destroys most of the evidence, Tom rescues a California condor from an unidentified DNA group. Tom eventually realizes that the condor must come from another dimension.
As he investigates, Tom meets Adrienne Rolfe, John Rolfe's granddaughter. He tries to entrap Adrienne and ends up being forced through the portal to the Rolfe's dimension. Tom and Adrienne discover that discontented elements in the Rolfe dimension want to open the portal and use "FirstSiders" from our dimension to take over the Rolfe dimension. Tom decides to help the Rolfes defend their community and joins forces with Adrienne in fighting the insurgents.
This report prepared by rebecca cornia
Roc, Feb 2003, 23.95, 448 pp.
After receiving a battle-related injury during World War II, John Rolfe recuperates in Oakland, California. John works with a short wave radio when an explosion occurs that opens an entrance into an alternate earth. In this world Europeans never traveled to the equivalent of North America. Thus the continent remains environmentally clean and loaded with natural recourses unlike his birth world. Over the years, John and his descendants selects twenty-nine other families to work with him on exporting the riches of “New Virginia” without destroying the beauty of the place.
In 2009, law enforcement officials raid a First Side (this world) warehouse in Los Angeles. The company worries that someone smuggled items through the gate, which if not stopped could lead to the industrial and governmental complex learning of New Virginia and raping its pristine landscape. John's granddaughter Adrienne tries to uncover the identity of the traitor while Department of Fish and Game Agent Tom Christiansen works a case that brings him into her sphere. Tom and Adrienne are attracted to one another, but neither trusts the other though they need to team up to stop the destruction of New Virginia.
Fans of alternate history will appreciate the depth that S. M. Stirling imbues in his delightful new novel. The rich story line makes readers believers that other dimensions containing different earths exist because the key cast members come across as authentic in their dealings on both planets.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner