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McKillip, Patricia A.
FOOL'S RUN {Whelan cover}
book-date: 1987
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Michael Whelan

Patricia A. McKillip's science fiction novel: Fool's Run. The first time I listed a copy of this I was having trouble describing it with any enthusiasm since I hadn't read it... so I took time out and read it. Now I can say, as a McKillip fan (I like every book I've read by her) that I can recommend this to other fans of her work. McKillip is well known as a Fantasy writer- this book is her only work that is out-and-out Science Fiction. My opinion of authors goes up when they stretch themselves- writing different kinds of books, writing short fiction, trying other genres- the best can do this successfully. One of the hallmarks of McKillip's books is that they are unique and individual, intelligent and inventive.

McKillip introduces us to several characters who I think of as magicians (although only one is named such) - they know when to act and when to stay still, when to speak and when to listen. By the time she has finished introducing these characters and setting up the situation in which they interact, you won't want to put this down. There is the musical historian, Sidney Halleck- collector of antique instruments and owner of the Constellation Club. At this club is The Magician, leader of a band called Nova (he also likes Bach.) There is the patrolman, Aaron Fisher, whose wife was killed years ago in a sensational murder, only now starting to emerge from numbness to feel again. The band Nova is signed up for an offworld tour, beginning at the orbital prison colony named The Underworld. Head of the Underworld is Jason Klyos- observant, intuitive, desperate for a transfer from this place which imprisons Terra Viridian, murderer of 1500 people. And then there is the Queen of Hearts, a last minute replacement for the band's Cuber, who's worked with The Magician before- what secrets does she hide behind her mask of gold? At the heart of this is a mystery involving compulsion, visions, and secrets revealed.