It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it? Making small changes in one place can have large impacts in another. That’s the premise behind New York’s ability to keep running and even recover from disaster so quickly in Charles Soule’s Strange Attractors.
Dr. Spencer Brownfield knows that the city needs help. It just can’t run on its own; it’s too big, there’s too much going on. So he takes complex notes and maps the city, then makes “adjustments” – releasing a rat in a restaurant, diverting traffic, or dumping ice cream cones throughout Central Park – that keep the balance of good and bad forces in play.
Heller Wilson is a grad student who uncovers one of Professor Brownfield’s papers in the university library and thinks the good doctor can help him finish his thesis, but doesn’t realize what becoming the professor’s assistant entails. He finds himself drawn into Brownfield’s theory, and puts his future and relationships on the line to follow him.
Is Brownfield a kook? Is New York City really headed for a big disaster that can be avoided through these adjustments? You be the judge.
Strange Attractors is a love letter to New York City and its resilience driven by an interesting mathematical plot. It took me a few pages to fall into the pace of the book, not really sure of what Soule was driving at initially, but as the story progressed, I found myself interested in how this was going to play out. Strange Attractors is the sleeper hit that you find at the indie movie theatre – it’s a slow build to a strong conclusion that makes for some great potential discussions.
Greg Scott’s art adds a good, almost noir component to the story. There’s a lot of good shadowing and muted color, and the characters’ faces have stories to tell.
Strange Attractors is on shelves now; give it a look.
Author: Charles Soule
Art: Greg Scott
Publication Date: May 15, 2013
Diamond #: FEB130711
Trim Size: 6.625 x 10.25″
Page Count: 144 pages