A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl

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The prose sometimes lurches into overwrought, look-at-my–MFA style writing, but it’s a testament to Proehl’s talents that these stumbles never detract from the rest of the story, which is a genuine and often moving tale of a mother and her son.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Valerie Torrey took her son, Alex, and fled Los Angeles six years ago—leaving both her role on a cult sci-fi TV show and her costar husband after a tragedy blew their small family apart. Now Val must reunite nine-year-old Alex with his estranged father, so they set out on a road trip from New York, Val making appearances at comic book conventions along the way. 

As they travel west, encountering superheroes, monsters, time travelers, and robots, Val and Alex are drawn into the orbit of the comic-con regulars, from a hapless twentysomething illustrator to a brilliant corporate comics writer stuggling with her industry's old-school ways to a group of cosplay women who provide a chorus of knowing commentary. For Alex, this world is a magical place where fiction becomes reality, but as they get closer to their destination, he begins to realize that the story his mother is telling him about their journey might have a very different ending than he imagined.

A knowing and affectionate portrait of the geeky pleasures of fandom, A Hundred Thousand Worlds is also a tribute to the fierce and complicated love between a mother and son—and to the way the stories we create come to shape us.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Bob Proehl

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Bob Proehl runs No Radio Records - a record store and label based in Ithaca, NY. He is also the publisher and editor of Tugboat Captain Press, a poetry imprint.
 
Published June 28, 2016 by Viking. 363 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for A Hundred Thousand Worlds
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 30 2016

The prose sometimes lurches into overwrought, look-at-my–MFA style writing, but it’s a testament to Proehl’s talents that these stumbles never detract from the rest of the story, which is a genuine and often moving tale of a mother and her son.

Read Full Review of A Hundred Thousand Worlds | See more reviews from Kirkus

NPR

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Schaub on Jun 29 2016

...the novel is, unfortunately, way too busy, and the other characters aren't as well-realized as Valerie and Alex. Brett exists in the book chiefly to be a foil for Alex...

Read Full Review of A Hundred Thousand Worlds | See more reviews from NPR

Reader Rating for A Hundred Thousand Worlds
62%

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