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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Borderlands of Forever: An Illustrated Novel is a work of fiction in the science fiction, metaphysical, and adventure subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience owing to some moderate references to sex and the use of explicit language and was penned by Jeff B Willey. In this conceptually fascinating and slow-burning read, we are introduced to an interdimensional intelligence brought by non-human entities, as well as a sinister synthetically created force known as machinu. Between these two forces, a small group of explorers, investigators, and scientists take center stage in an exploration of what it means to be human, to believe in religion, to possess consciousness, and the dangers and benefits of scientific progress.
Jeff B Willey offers a conceptual feast for fans of hard science-fiction and deeply psychological, human reads. This is a work that thrives on allowing readers to view both micro and macro approaches, from the intricate portrayal of characters like Circ and his discussion of what humanity means to the wider threat of synthetic intelligence and how it can turn on its creators in a heartbeat. The illustrations set the tone of the work well, offering Dali-esque surrealism beneath the sci-fi shaping of the world, while its time map and timeline give readers a clearer sense of place and time amid the many layers of storytelling. I would recommend The Borderlands of Forever for readers looking for a slower, more deeply considered read that will leave them with a lot of interesting and deeply personal questions to think about long after they’ve set the book down.