Ghost of the White Nights

by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
Release date: 2001
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction, alternate history

L. E. Modeistt has gained a legion of devoted fans for his science fiction as well as for his epic fantasy novels, and Ghost of the White Nights is one of the best displays of his ability to blend dramatic, imaginative stories with rigerous social and scientific extrapolation. This is the concluding novel of the alternate-history adventure trilogy that Modesitt began with Of Tangible Ghosts and The Ghost of the Revelator.

Doktor Johan Eschbach, Professor of Environmental Science and semi-retired service agent, and his lovely wife, the world-renound singer Llysette, return for another adventure, this time in Russia. Their world is an intriguing alternate present in which many things are changed. What we know as the eastern United States is the nation of Columbia, and Russia is still ruled by the Romanovs.

Johan had hoped for a quiet life of teaching. Llysette, a refugee from the burning remains of France, has put her time in the prison camps of the Hapsburg Empire behind her and successfully resumed her singing career. But the Columbian government cannot afford to waste their particular talents and calls upon them again.

Llysette is being sent on a cultural exchange mission to St. Petersburg, where she will sing for the Tzar. Johan will, of course, accompany her, allowing him to work behind the scenes on the oil concession in Russian Alaska that Columbia so desperately needs. But even the oil shortage will fade to insignificance when Johan discovers what new weapons technology the Russians are developing, a threat even more fearsome than the atomic bombs of Austro-Hungary.

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., carries on the science fiction tradition of Gordon R. Dickson and Poul Anderson, hard-edged adventures with sophisticated social and political dimensions. Ghost of the White Nights is a powerfully imaginative addition to this tradition.

(updated 2010-09-07)

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