What happens when a novel abounding with 18th century anachronisms feels like one of the most urgent works of fiction of the 21st? Welcome to Damien Lincoln Ober’s Doctor Benjamin Franklin’s Dream America. It’s subtitled “A Novel of the Digital Revolution,” and that last word functions in a couple of different ways. Ober’s novel is set in an alternate timeline, in which a version of the internet was present during the American Revolution and thus evolved with the new nation. […]
Three novels this week, each with thrills and surreal charges aplenty. One features psychic warfare that would make Hüsker Dü proud; another laces a contemporary thriller with hallucinations and meditations on the evolution of cities; and another blends history and metaphor into a surprisingly potent narrative.