Morden dumps us in the middle of London Metrozone, a place where there is some sort of law and order but also gang warfare mainly between Russian and Japanese mobsters. It seems that there has been nuclear fallout in both their home countries leading them fighting for territory elsewhere.
As future SF goes Morden’s version is a little bleak but it is not only a backdrop it is also a character in the main adventure. And it is an adventure. From the moment that Petrovich acts the next three hundred plus pages keep you gripped firmly in his hand as Petrovitch runs around the city trying to stop himself getting killed whilst meeting lots of colourful characters along the way.
Equations of Life isn’t all that it seems. It really is a little sneaky. Yes, the main thrust is all about saving the girl but then Morden sticks in a computer programme that is trying to take over the Metrozone so not only does he have to save the girl but the city itself. Oh and he’s not completely telling the truth. And that adds another layer. A question of redemption and good deeds paying off bad ones and what people do to survive.
Don’t get me wrong this is a narrow focused, fun, tale of heroes and gangster villains with a huge SF heart. It’s not going to make you slow you down and think too much. But that’s not to say that there isn’t lots of thought in the background. There is. Lots has gone into making the world as it is and one of those events that is behind the challenges that Petrovich faces.
And that’s what makes it a fun read. It’s a pulp adventure that is only the start to something bigger (two more book in this trilogy and the first book in a new trilogy just released). You can see why The Samuil Petrovitch Trilogy won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2012.
Next up: Theories of Flight.