In War Times
by Kathleen Ann Goonan
Review by Barry Newton
Tor Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 0765313553
Date: 15 May 2007 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /
In War Times opens in the immediate aftermath of a seduction, which will undoubtedly lure most readers on. It's a fitting way to start a story which holds its seductive qualities all the way through. Sam Dance, a young soldier in 1941, has just been seduced by his beautiful female physics instructor, which leaves him pleased and more than a little confused. But the teacher, Dr. Eliana Hadntz, has an agenda: nothing less than saving the world and Sam is her chosen instrument. She disappears into the night, leaving him with pages of physics and neurological theory, and the plans for a device which might use those concepts to change human behavior, hopefully for the better. From official release/information:
Book Description: Sam Dance is a young enlisted soldier in 1941 when his older brother Keenan is killed at Pearl Harbor. Afterwards, Sam promises that he will do anything he can to stop the war.
During his training, Sam begins to show that he has a knack for science and engineering, and he is plucked from the daily grunt work of twenty-mile marches by his superiors to study subjects like code breaking, electronics, and physics in particular, a science that is growing more important to the war effort. While studying, Sam is seduced by a mysterious female physicist that is teaching one of his courses, and given her plans for a device that will end the war, perhaps even end the human predilection for war forever. But the device does something less, and more, than that.
After his training, Sam is sent throughout Europe to solve both theoretical and practical problems for the Allies. He spends his free time playing jazz, and trying to construct the strange device. It's only much later that he discovers that it worked, but in a way that he could have never imagined.