CreateSpace, March 2008
In a universe regulated by 'the machine,' murder is unlikely. Getting away with murder is so improbable the odds are impossibly small--almost as small as the chance that the Borck scientist died of natural causes. When local authorities botch the investigation, Senior Investigator Eola is called in. Eola has plenty of experience with difficult cases--but one fact has been hammered into everyone's head--that the machine is infallible. If that fact is a lie, the fabric of society may shatter. And if that happens, somebody will be the scapegoat--possibly a hard-working Senior Investigator.
While Eola investigates, Druscan lives on a gambling asteroid. He feels confused all the time, has difficulty remembering where he's from or what he's doing, yet his brain is capable of near-miraculous jumps of logic and memory. Put him in front of a game board and he can see all of the options, envision end games beyond anyone else's imagination. Is he simply an idiot-savant, or is there some deeper meaning to his existance?
Author Toni Seger creates an interesting view of a future world where the entire galaxy is civilized, where the different races live in harmony under the guidance of the machine, yet where status, legislated as 'privilege' remains crucial and where only a few races are considered among the capable or elite. Seger's creation of intriguing races makes for enjoyable reading.
I found THE TELEFAX BOX to be simultaneously intriguing and confusing. The novel lacked the kind of strong protagonist common to genre fiction (Eola came closest), and the plot was often hard to follow. The resolution, when it came, didn't quite jolt me the way I think Seger intended. Still, this is a promising first novel. Seger is an author to watch.
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