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    Review of ANTI-GRAV UNLIMITED by Duncan Long

    Avon, August, 1988

    Phil Hunter has just discovered the invention of the age--working antigravity--when he's laid off from his job, the entire department shut down. Phil decides this is what he's been waiting for--a chance to become fabulously wealthy with his own company, Anti-Gravity Unlimited. With anti-gravity, not only is space flight a cheap possibility, perpetual motion is also possible. With a couple of anti-gravity rods, it's easy to hook up a generator and create unlimited electrical current. All of mankind's environmental problems are solved--as are any issues with poverty. Phil sees a new utopia--until his house is blown up and all of his former co-workers are listed as killed in the paper.

    On the run, Phil heads for his best friend's house, only to discover that his best friend has abandoned his long-time girlfriend (and clone)--where a hitman disguised as a bag lady tries to gun both of them down. Together, Phil and Nikki try to figure out how to stay alive for long enough to mass produce enough anti-gravity rods to allow him to start his business. Still, where on earth can they hide if the entire world corporate government is after them?

    Author Duncan Long creates an intriguing dystopic future where corporations have taken over the government and are gradually replacing workers with robots, forcing the masses into poverty. Long adds charm to the story by having Phil accept this world in a matter-of-fact way. Sure everyone goes armed and expects to run into ambushes if they travel the interstates. Sure, armored bag-lady hitmen are going to be out there. Long keeps his writing and his narrative simple. ANTI-GRAV UNLIMITED wasn't (I don't think) targetted as a young adult novel, but it could have been.

    I kept expecting to see some big reversal, a black moment, but things seemed pretty easy for Phil and Nikki. Because Phil made a big deal about his best friend (the one who'd cloned Nikki), I anticipated that Craig would play an important role--as an antagonist. Instead, the primary antagonist didn't seem especially frightening.

    Unlike some other dystopic novels written during this period, ANTI-GRAV UNLIMITED doesn't really push the envelope and make us question society's directions. It's simply a nice old-fashioned story about one guy trying to get rich and get the girl in the face of overwhelming odds. Nothing wrong with that--I enjoyed it.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 12/26/07

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    What do you think? Too generous? Too stingy? Or did I miss the entire point? Send your comments to Give me the okay to use your name and I'll publish all the comments that fit (and don't use unprintable language).

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