Review: The Gottingen Accident by James F. Mordechai

Rating: 7/10


What if three famous scientists with superhero powers team up to fight a villain that wants to subvert the very fabric of the Universe? What if? All the great alternate history novels start with their author asking this basic question. Imagining our world if something different happened in the past. Because this novel is set in our world with well-known historical characters, but things took a different turn somewhere. The Germans won the First World War and the 1917 Bolshevik revolution never took place. Time is not always a straight line and sometimes it can expand and contract. Then, Charles Darwin is coeval with Marie Curie and Albert Einstein and they are friends. But what if these scientists were able to acquire powers that were linked to their research? What if Darwin could change the evolutionary destiny of any living being or Curie could have an X-ray vision?


Thank you to James for sending me a copy of his book to review!

The Gottingen Accident is a novella that I absolutely flew through. Coming in at under 150 pages you get thrown into the action from page one.

Maths is not my strong suit, and it never has been. So starting a book that talks about Non-Euclidian Geometry had me a little worried, I had even googled the term before I started the book. Thankfully, you are in safe hands and I shouldn’t have worried at all. Over the course of the start of the book Mordechai finds ways to weave in the meaning, and demonstrates it without using overly-complicated explanations. Once you get to the weirder portions of the book you’ll be going right along with it. For me, I ended up picturing the Oldest House from Control (the super crazy sections) but with way less sharp edges. It worked for me and I hope this is somewhere near where Mordechai was going with it!

We mainly follow 3 famous scientists, Marie Curie, Darwin and Schrödinger. Almost everyone has some understanding of what these scientists did, and if not you’ll learn the basics within the book. They make for great characters to follow, they’re extremely intelligent and therefore help move the story along with ease. Our characters aren’t confused by what is going on, they embrace it and try to stop the madness.

As for what is going on. Well, essentially our main character turns himself into a supervillan using this Non-Eculidian Geometry and starts warping the world around him. The sections that he is actively in are completely out there, with twisting spaces and places between places. Don’t go in this trying to understand the ins-and-outs of the story, but go in with an open mind and the knowledge that this is going to be weird as hell.

I had a couple of issues with the book but ultimately they were overshadowed by the story itself. I sometimes found it hard to follow who was speaking, and occasionally I got a little lost with this. On occasion things didn’t flow particularly well, or felt stilted. But, these are just small sections and are easily out-paced by the parts where you forget you’re even reading a book.

My personal favourite character? Schrödinger’s cat. Yes, the alive-but-yet-dead cat features in this book. I loved the way the cat was written and the way in which Schrödinger’s ideas are dealt with in this way.

James Mordechai clearly has an incredible grasp on Geometry and on what these famous scientists did within their lives. It shines through as you read this book and helps everything come together in a truly weird and fascinating way. This is a story for fans of new weird and I can’t wait to see what James might have up his sleeve next.

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