"Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster which they call Destiny."
John O. Hobbes
Destiny's Door (R)
Available February 28, 2001 in Book Stores
Order now through Padwolf Publishing Inc.
Destinys Door cover art © Copyright 2001 Michael Apice
Once again, Padwolf Publishing continues to amaze. It seems like in every issue I am commending this group for the fine work the company puts out. Each book has been better than the last. The Fix was great and I loved Murphy's Law, but Destiny's Door by Judith Tracy had to be the best of the bunch. I don't know why Padwolf Publishing does not get the play it deserves? But books like Destiny's Door will have me reading works from their company for years to come.
Destiny's Door is about Donald Thurman, a nerdy kid who loves computers, has a couple of friends, but no luck with the ladies unless he cybers with a gal on the 'Net. One day, while surfing, Donald meets up with a species of extra-terrestrial electron beings on a search for God, who call themselves THEY. THEY hope to find out why they are on this planet, what their names are and how they came to be. THEY look to Donald for help, and he goes all out to help his newfound friends.
Donald helps the beings create a web page called Destiny's Door where people can make wishes and They can help those people, essentially moving closer to God. While this is going on, Donald befriends one of the beings and names her Ariel, allowing her to penetrate his body and take control of it, allowing her to learn all there is to know about human beings.
After Ariel leaves Donald's body, the group attempts to create a human body to live in on the outside world. However, their early attempts fail and now the only way to be like humans is to take over their bodies. Unfortunately Donald knows too much and is a targeted by several beings of THEY, but Ariel comes to his safety. Ariel, who is deeply in love with Donald, decides that in order to be with him she has to occupy the body of a past infatuation to win his love. This opens up a whole new can of issues concerning her species and her own ambition for survival.
This book was just magnificent. The author was able to make you feel for each character despite their choices. Donald was just an everyday guy who doesn't know where he fits into the world. Ariel was an everyday electron that had the same problems. While they were meant to be, it was pretty freaky how the whole relationship worked out. Ariel's dialogue was great. She slowly grows with each page, and more importantly, she grows on you and despite her actions. I also like that there are chapters that contain stories not even related to Donald's. These stories are important though, because they help to explain the power of 'They.' These little one-chapter stories have a Twilight Zone, Tales from the Darkside feel to them. These tales will creep you out and leave you wondering what will happen next. These stories were intriguing stories and pushed the plot along and actually affect Donald in the long run.
Judith Tracy is an exceptional writer. I didn't expect such an emotional story from what I was reading, but in the end I was all choked up. The end is a surprise, but I must say that I am upset that I have not heard any news of a sequel. I want to continue to read the adventures of Donald or Ariel. I have grown so attached to them. They have become a part of my world and if you read Destiny's Door, they will become a part of yours, too.
Reviewed by: Paul Di Filippo
Destinys Door (Padwolf Publishing, trade, $14.00, 195
pp.) by Judith Tracy is no When Harlie Was One (1972) or Blood Music (1985),
novels it wants to emulate. Its kludgy, old-fashioned, and unintentionally silly at
times. But as a first novelist, Tracy shows some promise. Shes fairly inventive,
willing to take chances, and can plot. Certainly a mistreatment to dismiss her out of hand
based on this awkward but promising story, wherein high-school senior Donald Thurman
becomes the first human ever contacted by a silicon intelligence born in the internet.
Serving as the fleshly intermediary to the digital critterswho have an annoying
habit of talking in Seussian rhymesThurman soon finds himself unfortunately aiding
their plot to take over mankinds bodies. Interspersed but not really integrated into
the main story are several incidents where the hidden intelligences influence the lives of
other humans, for ill or good. And a climactic twist puts all right, with foreshadowings
of changes yet to come.
The Buzz Review
I actively sought out being placed on Padwolf's reviewer list. I knew them to be a publisher of quality. A few years back, I was lucky enough to review a pre-publication copy of their Murphy's Lore by Patrick Thomas.
Destiny's Door is a remarkable science fiction novel. I liked Destiny's Door and I liked it a lot...
I was just fascinated with Destiny's Door and rather scared. The thoughts going through my head, the speculations, make me both frightened and thrilled of living now...in our future. Judith Tracy acknowledges learned science and medical help. You can tell in the way that Destiny's Door reads
that it is no mere trash-paper fodder. If you ever take time to wonder what is ahead then you will want to read Destiny's Door.
Reviewed by: Andrew Andrews
ELEGANCE, A REALLY GOOD COMMAND OF BASIC STORYTELLING... AN AUTHOR TO WATCH.
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