Area novel filled with thrills, chillsI’m not a huge fan of science fiction, and I can’t say I’ve read a lot of it, but I do recognize a good story well told. Rex “Skip” Evans Wood of Moorhead, Minn., combines suspense, conspiracy, time travel and a little romance in “Truitt’s Fix.”
By: By Gail Gabrielson, The Jamestown Sun
Posted Oct. 18, 2011
I’m not a huge fan of science fiction, and I can’t say I’ve read a lot of it, but I do recognize a good story well told. Rex “Skip” Evans Wood of Moorhead, Minn., combines suspense, conspiracy, time travel and a little romance in “Truitt’s Fix.”
Dan Truitt is a microbiologist who is saved from drowning in a sailing accident on Lake Superior by people from the future. They want “Dr. Truitt” because he was instrumental in research on a particular fever that’s now decimating the population in the 45th century.
But the future isn’t what you think it might be. There are three “nationalities” left after climate change has turned most of the globe into an icy world. The Fahrians and Naians live to the south and serve as the Hatfields and McCoys in this primitive culture.
The Icers — people who live under the Ice — seem to be even more primitive. A fourth group, aliens who have been exiled to Earth, are aligned with the Naians and have given them the ability to travel in time, a secret that must be kept from everyone.
Filled with mistrust of the other cultures, the Naians must smuggle Dan and his friend Tim back to their homeland through the Ice country and avoid the Fahrians, too. Of course, nothing goes as planned, and an Icer woman joins the Naian group, giving them the impression she doesn’t want to go back.
Back in the New Atlantic Islands, the Naians discover Dr. Truitt’s doctorate is in microbiology — not medicine. The Naian leaders are ready to jail Dan and Tim and ultimately kill them rather than take them back to the past and risk changing history.
That’s when Professor Myo Avecinna intervenes. Myo thinks it’s time for the Naians and Icers to get together and talk, and sends Dan, Tim and the Icer woman Jai to the North on a diplomatic trip in order to avoid being confined. And the adventure continues.
Dan and Tim are separated as they flee both the Naians and a Fahrian spy who has been on their tail from the very beginning. Jai leads Dan back to her home, where the people are actually more advanced than the Naians.
What is so special about this book is that nothing feels contrived. Every movement in the story advances the plot seamlessly and effortlessly. The author has thought this through; he knows where the story is going from the first page to the last.
Wood’s imaginary world of the future is described so well that you can smell the wood smoke, hear the creaking of the dog carts, and feel the helplessness of two strangers who are dependent on someone else for everything. What’s even better is that Wood knows how to build the suspense and give us a great ending.
“Truitt’s Fix” is available at Zandbroz Variety in Fargo or online at www.bit.ly/rexwood. Wood also includes a discussion page for book clubs on his website.
Gabrielson blogs about books from her region at bookbag.areavoices.com