Lyon’s Legacy- Sandra Ulbrich Almazan


This short book of 36,000 words is a trifle too short to fully expand and explore all the elements of the plot in the detail I would have liked. Almazan’s writing is certainly entertaining and has a lively spark of originality about it.
This book will suit those who wish to read stories about strong female fantasy/SF characters that maintain their individuality and femininity. Joanna Lyon is a research scientist. How refreshingly normal that is. She is a truly normal female with all that that entails, rather than some sort of super-heroic titan that wields a sword better than mere men; so often the fare of modern SF and fantasy.
The action is set on an Earth and a parallel Earth that is possibly identical. This second place is on a timeline that is running slow by a century or so. This parallel existence is an interesting concept as it allows Joanna to go backwards in time to before her own birth, without actually using a time machine. The possibility that the “wormhole” took her back to earlier in her reality, which is certainly a common enough SF scenario isn’t contemplated. Almazan’s plot-line is far more mathematically plausible. To paraphrase, “time may change thee, but thy can’t change time”. Well, at least not in one’s own past. I actually felt that neither Earth was quite the one I am in, as music had a stronger role in social development in Joanna’s than I have observed. Bear to mind, though, that I sit in an atmosphere of words rather than music.
I am a fan of speculative fiction. This story very much fills that bill. Almazan also uses this work as an opportunity to explore scientific issues that are starting to emerge as concerns for all our futures. This book, good read though it is could have been so much more. So many issues of both social and scientific natures are only so lightly brushed. I know this author has a great deal more to say. I hope she does. Perhaps she had been put off by the modern fashion for minimalist and short content; a trend which seems to suggest that humans have suddenly evolved backwards in their attempts to sustain thought. The short sound bite has its place, but that can be achieved sufficiently by the use of short climatic chapters, rather than by producing books that try to get by using far too few words.
Yes, of course a strength of this book is the lack of waffle. You must realise I like waffles, and just wanted a bigger one with even more Almazan chocolate.


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