|The truth is . . . somewhere?|
From the first page of vON kRAEMER’s unexpected novella, THE HOAG: Lost In Moments Collected Beyond Yesterday the reader is taken to a world so distant and yet so familiar that emersion is a simple matter of going along with the flow. That’s easy to do, as the style is as fluid as it is filled with complexity that almost, but never quite, self-explains.
vON kRAEMER builds a world and a universe from a concept of intergalactic aliens, the titular Hoag, who are billions of years old, completely alien (more plant than animal) and communicate in a way that is, to put it mildly, unrelatable. Fortunately, the reader views all this through the eyes of Soo Lingg in a future that may be as imperfect as it is perfect. Soo is seemingly getting ready for a double date when he is confronted by Ambassador Truk (as in “big as a”). He is aided in his understanding (as are all the Earth inhabitants) by Server, an AI of vast proportions, unknown capabilities and mysterious background. At the same time, the reader is introduced to a style of futuristic speech that is reminiscent of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange which can be figured out as mostly in context—TruthTruth.
Of course, the THE HOAG isn’t so simple as will Soo Lingg make his date or not? As Soo learns about the biology, society and history of the Hoag, he also learns about his own planet and species history. There might be something more sinister going on.
vON kRAEMER does an impressive balancing act, creating a universe and an alien species within a believable future all told through the eyes of a character who is both familiar and yet years beyond our own future. As the novella draws to a fascinating conclusion, readers may find themselves wanting more of everything. It’s the perfect place to be.