Ace, March 2002, 22.95, 400 pp.
In the not too distant future scientists such as Katie McGuire, her ex-husband Horst, and a few other technicians are working hard at the Sonomak project operational. If it works the world could have cold fusion power at their disposal. When it looks like federal funding will fall through, Horst calls in a block-ops agent to see if the military would be interested in funding the project.
The agent's boss Alexandria Mitchell learns about the project. She is over five million years old, a sentient android serving the Makers, the beings whom created our universe. Her job is to make sure that the people of Earth don't rise above a certain level of technology. Alexandria is tired of answering to her masters and intends to take control of the Sonomak project, forcing the scientists to create a PICOVERSE (an alternate universe of our world only much smaller) so she can rid herself of any controls. She gets her wish but even she is surprised at how quickly she becomes dissatisfied, a condition that forces her to deal with Katie and Horst, their son Anthony and Jack Preston, a new player in the game, in this new and unfamiliar realm.
Although PICOVERSE is filled with scientific theories that are difficult for the layman to understand, this no way detracts from the overall enjoyment of the story. The climax is a shocker but the whole novel is based on situations that take one surprising turn after another. Robert A. Metzger makes the implausible seen all to frightening real.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner