Drumlin Circus - On Gossamer Wings
By: Jeff Duntemann, James R. Strickland
Publication Date: 2011-04-15
Number of pages: 264
With this title, Copperwood Press introduces the Copperwood Double: Two complete short novels bound "tete-beche" (back-to-back), each with its own cover. Both novels are set in Jeff Duntemann's Drumlins universe, in which a starship malfunctions and maroons its passengers and crew on an Earthlike planet that once held an advanced alien civilization. The aliens have vanished, but their inscrutable "thingmaker" machines remain, capable of manufacturing almost anything anyone might want, given the proper 256-bit code. Some of the manufactured artifacts ("drumlins") are ordinary things like knives, rope, and teaspoons, while others are lumps of metal with no known purpose. In a weird way, drumlins seem aware of human thoughts and emotions, and sometimes change their behavior in response to human wishes and needs. In "Drumlin Circus," a traveling circus engages the shadowy Bitspace Institute in a contest of wills over a mysterious drumlin called the Function Controller, which has the power to alter drumlin shape and operation, and perhaps enslave animals and even humans. In "On Gossamer Wings," an aphasic teen girl with a rare ability to search the thingmakers for specific artifacts discovers something that the Bitspace Institute would gladly kill to obtain: the building blocks for constructing a flying machine operating on zero-point energy.
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