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Book review: Fremder, by Russell Hoban

This novel, written towards the end of Hoban's life, is unusual in being pure science fiction. It is set in the not very far distant future (the twenty-first century, in fact), by which time unlimited space travel has become a reality. Its central character and narrator, Fremder (the word means 'stranger' in German), is one of a special group of people who have been fitted with brain implants that enable the spaceships in which they operate to travel almost instantly to distant galaxies. This is still a somewhat perilous process, involving the disappearance and reappearance elsewhere of the ships and their crews. The technique was invented by Fremder's mother, Helen, who committed suicide while he was still in the womb; he was saved by being placed in an artificial womb. [More]

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