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Reviewed by Roxanne Bland for Readers' Favorite
In The Great Convergence by Thomas Kast, the 21st century saw a cataclysmic collapse of the multiverse. Now, in the unimaginably distant future, two scientists are trying to prove if the collapse was inevitable, or if human intervention could have prevented it. They must travel back to that fateful 21st-century night to test their theories. Aside from our time-traveling scientists, other characters—an obsessed artist, a 21st-century schizophrenic scientist, an art critic who hates art—are well-developed, amusing yet sadly pathetic. It’s understandable, considering the world Kast has built for them.
The Great Convergence is a thought-provoking and well-written work of absurdist science fiction. Kast does a remarkable job building his off-kilter world; the kooky characters are realistic and believable, considering their not-so-benign funhouse. Told from the perspectives of the four quirky main characters, the technique enables Kast to introduce unexpected twists to the plot. It’s not surprising that as the story involves time travel, there are jumps from the present to the past, but there are many. I found the story’s theme intriguing, as Kast raises the age-old philosophical debate between immutable destiny and free will. Is our fate sealed no matter what, or can we take action to change the outcome? No one has resolved the debate, but in The Great Convergence, Kast posits a solution that, if science is on his side, may well prove correct. Philosophical debates aside, Kast has one more message for us. No matter how far future technology takes us, human nature with all its flaws remains the same. For fans of absurdist science fiction, Kast’s novel will be sure to entertain.