Review: Dancing with Eternity
John Patrick Lowrie is a man of many talents; from being a musician, theater actor and voice-talent for Valve’s “Half-Life” series and “Team Fortress 2,” he’s seemingly done it all – and now he can add ‘published author’ to his resumé. Released the beginning of September, “Dancing with Eternity,” is a science fiction novel that sucks you in and never takes a moment to breathe. It holds the same interest that many science fiction fans (both old and new) will love: vibrant worlds being traversed, witty character writing and some very imaginative and provocative concepts.
The story follows “Mo” and a curiously sexy woman nick-named “Steel.” Among other things, the reader may pick up that Mo is very similar to Mr. Lowrie himself, having been an actor, (in one reboot at least) a musician, and a worldly traveler. From the first few pages we are thrown into a vast universe with a narrative presentation by Mo. John is unapologetic in his writing as he uses a vast array of unique terminology mixed with our own that the readers will quickly pick up as they go along, which is very enthralling and reminds of Frank Herbert’s epic, “Dune,” which came with its own in-book dictionary. “Dancing with Eternity” brings us past the 26th century of our own time, a time when hardly anyone experiences death…or birth for that matter. Being tied to the ‘net,’ people have the option to be “rebooted” nearing the end of their lives – a costly yet very effective method at keeping them alive and well, keeping only the memories they choose to take with when being reconstructed. What’s more, women no longer feel the need to bear children in their wombs; rather their ova are used to create new beings when new planets are being colonized after terraforming.
Body modification is also very present and vibrant in this conception of our future. People have tattoos about their bodies much like today, but also have fur, scales and other things woven into their bodies which gives them their own unique looks. At one point we are introduced to a lady who has tattoos of peacocks running from her mouth down to her shoulders where actual feathers sprout out like a cloak. The people are original and expressive, sharing experiences through song and dance alike.
This truly is a fascinating take on our future and is something I think many people will enjoy with John’s imaginative (and at times almost foreshadowing), expansive and engaging storytelling. Needless to say, the reader is in for a fast-paced, fun and intelligent ride that never seems to let up. With the witty characters and detailed story, it will keep anyone reading it engaged and wanting more. For a first-time author, Mr. Lowrie knocked it out of the park like a true veteran of the genre. I highly recommend this book to any fan of science fiction or a fan of adventure in general as it delivers on all fronts.