by Rosemary Kiladitis
It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it? Making small changes in one place can have large impacts in another. That’s the premise behind New York’s ability to keep running and even recover from disaster so quickly in Charles Soule’s Strange Attractors.
Dr. Spencer Brownfield knows that the city needs help. It just can’t run on its own; it’s too big, there’s too much going on. So he takes complex notes and maps the city, then makes “adjustments” – releasing a rat in a restaurant, diverting traffic, or dumping ice cream cones throughout Central Park – that keep the balance of good and bad forces in play.
Heller Wilson is a grad student who uncovers one of Professor Brownfield’s papers in the university library and thinks the good doctor can help him finish his thesis, but doesn’t realize what becoming the professor’s assistant entails. He finds himself drawn into Brownfield’s theory, and puts his future and relationships on the line to follow him.
Is Brownfield a kook? Is New York City really headed for a big disaster that can be avoided through these adjustments? You be the judge.
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