D.L Morese’s books are a unique blend of genres, often funny, and sometimes satirical. All are set in a well-conceived alternate world and populated with interesting and endearing characters. I’ve always enjoyed his books and his Adventures of The Brane Child Series are no exception.
The Brane Child Series is about a spaceship crew testing a new Brane Skip technology for speeding up space travel enough to provide a way for humanity to overcome the light-speed barrier. The commander Lisa Chang has no idea what will happen when they press the button to engage the skip, but she never imagined that they would be cast adrift in space on a collision course with a fantasy version of Earth, complete with dragons, orcs, and wizards.
The uniqueness of this (and other of Morrese’s books) is the combination of science fiction and very traditional fantasy. Book one, Brane Child, begins with science fiction, an introduction to the characters on board the spaceship and an explanation of the well-thought out and fascinating metaphysics behind the Brane Skip technology. After the skip, however, we are plummeted, along with the crew, into a version of medieveal earth populated with traditional fantasy characters. The world is described so well that you feel you’re there, right down to the filth littering the streets. The crew have to find a way to repair their ship and get home, and the story is, of course, about all the things that get in their way and how they deal with them.
As with all Morrese’s books, this is extremely well-written; he’s a reliable author guaranteed to bring you a professional product.
In book two, The Scarecrow’s Brane, they find themselves, not at home, but in the world of The Wizard of Oz. I’m not a fan of The Wizard of Oz, so this was my least favorite of the books, but as the story develops, the mystery of the metaphysics behind the series is further fleshed out. It’s a brain tease with a clever storyline that weaves around the characters and events of that world. Once again, they’re trying to get home, but before they do that, they have to fix the problems caused by their unexpected visit to the world.
In book three, The Brane of the Space Pirates, after another skip, the crew end up not in their own universe as they initially thought, but on a space pirate base which ends up not being at all what they initially thought. They become embroiled in the politics of a world similar to our own yet vastly different in political and financial systems. Here, however, they have the gratest chance so far of actually returning home, and as the story plays out, the metaphysical mystery of their situation – why are they ending up in impossible worlds? – is gradually revealed. And the answer, when it comes, is logical and intelligent. I loved it. I had suspected something along the lines of the answer, but Morese solves the mystery with impressive detail.
All this is done with a light touch. It’s a clever combination of parody and metaphysics or speculative physics.
5 stars to each of these books. It’s an excellent series that I highly recommend for science fiction and fantasy lovers, especially those who like a light approach to fantasy.
And since the books are ridiculously cheap, you have absolutely no reason not to buy them.