Tor, Nov 2004, 24.95, 320 pp.
Private detective Travis Bismark visits his college friend, science fiction writer Professor John Barnes in Gunnison, Colorado after the writer spent time on the Internet with a cartoon, Gaudeamus. Travis spins some wild tale about “goddies” pills that enhance sex and telepathy and also describes a baffling technology called Gaudeamus that people are killing one another to gain control.
Not long afterward, Travis vanishes while a cyber elk attacks John. Travis keeps appearing and disappearing over the next few months, but at each visit he provides a weirder tale starring exploitive alien businessmen and grunge musical clowns traveling in flying saucers that make even Mr. Barnes' novels seem mundane. Soon John realizes that the clock is ticking and that the earth has less than seven years to learn how to fully use Gaudeamus technology to convert energy from one form to another without space or time restraints.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner