Fiction - Science Fiction
386 Pages
Reviewed on 04/10/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Flatlanders is a work of fiction in the science fiction, interpersonal drama, and suspense subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Penned by author Mike Sherer, the story follows young theoretical physicist Mickey Haiku as he navigates a bizarre and perilous journey through multiple dimensions. Trapped in a battle with the much smarter scientist Eden, Mickey must save his own dimension from destruction. Unbeknownst to them, beings from higher dimensions complicate their struggle, sending them on a chaotic odyssey through strange realms. To add to the challenge, Mickey embarks on this journey inhabiting a pregnant female body, while Eden is stuck in his. Forced to cooperate, the two develop an unlikely and complex relationship amidst the surreal challenges they face.

Author Mike Sherer has crafted a truly imaginative exploration of multiple dimensions that results in an exhilarating and mind-bending experience to keep readers engaged from start to finish. The dynamic between Mickey and Eden is both intriguing and humorous, as they navigate the challenges of inhabiting each other's bodies while grappling with their agendas. The dialogue and thought presentation are very carefully crafted to showcase their diverse and unique attitudes, and I loved the distinction but also the moments of humorous crossover in their lives. Sherer's vivid descriptions and comprehensive world-building leave no stone unturned, drawing the reader into a fantastical realm of epic proportions that is filled with strange and unpredictable twists. As the story unfolds at a slow-burning pace, the stakes escalate, and the characters are forced to confront their biases and assumptions, leading to unexpected revelations and personal growth. Overall, Flatlanders is a thrilling and thought-provoking journey through the realms of science fiction, blending humor, adventure, and philosophical exploration in equal measure, and I would not hesitate to recommend it.

Jamie Michele

Flatlanders by Mike Sherer revolves around Mickey Haiku, a mathlete and physicist, whose earthly life in the three comfortable dimensions changes when he finds himself in the company of Eden, a scientist with ideas on how to help Mickey with his work but who is really out to ensnare him in a complex interdimensional conflict. Unaware of higher-dimensional manipulations, Eden and Mickey transition through dimensions in swapped bodies. Through Eden's body, Mickey sees alternative versions of life, observes differences in people, professions, and technology, and is somehow able to escape the darkest of it. Not everyone he cares about is as lucky. Forced to cooperate, the Crossover Project is initiated. There are plans to reshape the new world, but the most pressing issue for Mickey, stranded in yet another new dimension, is getting his own body back.

“That’s Mickey... Eden, I mean. Don’t shoot her. Him. Whoever.” Flatlanders by Mike Sherer is an intelligently witty adventure through alternate dimensions in a literary intersection between Freaky Friday and The Crossroads of Time. The narrative is mostly written as dialogue, and it helps us get to know the characters and the different iterations of them where applicable, as seen through their conversations and environments. Sherer creates Mickey and his colleagues as bona fide geeks to start, and even in Eden's body, he has a strong arc that preserves his eccentricity and intellectual curiosity but sheds a lot of social awkwardness. I like that he does get attached to having another life growing inside him, but he wants his man-bits back more. Flatlanders is a long read that covers a lot of ground but is worth the time investment by a reader. I laughed a lot, thought a lot, and consider it a good, unique, and immersive experience that is very entertaining.

Asher Syed

In the science fiction epic Flatlanders by Mike Sherer, mathematician Mickey Haiku embarks on a journey of discovery when he encounters mysterious voices disrupting his work. As he delves deeper into theoretical physics discussions, he meets Eden, a figure claiming to be from a higher dimension. Together, they collaborate on opening gateways between dimensions, but Mickey finds himself facing difficulty adapting to new realities, which is compounded by a development that merges Mickey and Eden into one. Betrayal from an unexpected source requires the help of friends George and Priscilla, as Mickey reels with issues of identity and the urgent need to return home—not such a simple task when wading through extremely sophisticated technologies and threats like neutrino strikes. As treachery is exposed, Mickey must confront it as a matter of mass life or death, all while striving to find a solution to the predicament and ensure a safe return.

Holographic McDonald's, anyone? It's good to know that Mike Sherer is willing to give readers the comforts of home in a story where those comforts are few and far between. Flatlanders is creative in how Sherer uses more human aspects to balance the swaths of scientific realism he injects into his writing, which is impressive enough to satisfy even the pickiest of speculative readers. There is a lot of sexual exploration written into the storyline, and having a man in a woman's body makes it all the more interesting, especially as it takes on a polyamorous vibe. Mickey's experience of being pregnant in Eden's body prompts reflection on gender identity and the boundaries of individuality. I think the standout philosophical theme and one of those rare gems in science fiction, where an author gives us real depth, is that despite discussion on centrifuges being used to separate souls from bodies and to switch between different physical forms, the physical and mental are still different. Sherer introduces genetic memory passing between dimensions and a complex interconnectedness across different realities, and when it comes to classic sci-fi, there is nothing better than thought-provoking ideas about the nature of existence and the potential implications of multidimensional travel. Very highly recommended.