Hoaxes. Time Travel. Alien Invasion. Parallel Universes. Antarctica. Love. Maps.
The Map of the Sky, written by Felix J. Palma and translated into English by Nick Castor, is a blend of science fiction, alternative history, and horror, with a sprinkling of romance. It is a sequel to The Map of Time and continues to feature a fictionalized version of HG Wells. Some of the scenes are beautiful and touching. We learn of a beautiful map of the universe that was created by a sentimental trickster and passed down from mother to daughter. Many of the scenes are downright horrifying. We have no doubt that the aliens are evil.
Like The Map of Time, The Map of the Sky has three major storylines. In the first storyline, we learn about a devastating encounter between some Antarctic explorers and a “Martian.” In the second storyline, Wells is asked to help an old rival reenact a scene from War of the Worlds. When parts of the novel come to life, Wells never suspects who is really behind them. In the third storyline, Charles, who we met in The Map of Time, is in a prison camp and writes a diary about what happened to Wells and company.
I confess that this book had a bit too much horror for me. Some of the images were still floating around in my head as I tried to go about my everyday life. Yet, this novel has so much of what I love: noble, likeable characters; action; touching scenes; good world building. If Palma writes another story based on one of Wells’ novels, I probably will, reluctantly, read it.