With more than 4,500 books published every day, I suppose it’s not surprise that I’ve missed one or two. I recently took a chance on one from about 1990, because Audible had it on sale.
I’d not heard of the book or, as it turns out, the movie. I didn’t know there were sequels. I feel a little foolish for all that, but check that number-of-books-published figure again, before you think me hopelessly out of touch.
I expect Jumper, by Steven Gould, is often shelved as science fiction. This, despite the fact there is no hint whatsoever that science is in any way involved in the hero’s new-found ability to teleport at will. Genre labels drive me crazy, mostly because my own books, which often straddle the fuzzy lines between science fiction, speculative fiction and fantasy, are so hard for people to categorize. I pegged this as science fiction from the first incident of teleportation, not because technology was involved, but because it was so reminiscent of the trigger for teleportation in Alfred Bester’s classic, The Stars My Destination. In jumper, David Rice “jumps” to safety when his life is in danger. In the Bester book, Gully Foyle puts himself in imminent danger of death with no way out in order to trigger teleportation.
Gould does give a nod to the earlier book that people who had not read it would miss, but I appreciated his acknowledgment.
And, I’ve said so little about the book itself, to this point. Okay, it’s mostly plausible and very well researched. The reader can easily empathize with the protagonist and it’s a fun adventure. It’s also a YA book, defined as such because the protagonist is 17 when the book starts. Don’t let that scare you away from this or any other YA book. You were 17 once, too, and you haven’t forgotten how that feels.