Into the Looking Glass
|Series||Voyage of the Space Bubble|
|Genre||Military science fiction|
|March 27, 2007|
|LC Class||PS3618.I545 I58 2005|
|Followed by||Vorpal Blade|
Into the Looking Glass is the first novel in the Looking Glass military hard science fiction series, written by American author John Ringo. The book was released in March 27, 2007 by Baen Books. The story involves travel through portals called looking glasses, the discovery of other worlds, and the aliens that inhabit them. The novel chronicles the events directly preceding Vorpal Blade (2008).
The novel begins with a large explosion at the University of Central Florida's science department, destroying the university and everything within a mile of it. Despite the indications of a nuclear weapon, from the devastation to the mushroom cloud, military personnel and emergency responders find no traces of radiation or EMP. Investigators find a mysterious sphere suspended in midair above a crater at what they determine to be the center of the blast. Unusual events build from there, culminating in an invasion of specially grown alien killing machines.
The President and his advisors rush to respond to the disaster. They contact Dr. William Weaver for his expertise and bring him to investigate the first anomaly. Weaver quickly explains that Ray Chen, a physicist at the university, was working on changing the laws of physics within a small space to allow him to create a Higgs Boson, essentially a particle containing its own universe. Whether or not he succeeded is unknown, however they have other problems as a new type of flat, traversable anomaly that comes to be called "Looking Glasses" begins to appear around the country, then around the world. While on the site, a little girl named Mimi comes walking out of rubble a few blocks from the explosion, carrying a giant spider on her shoulder. The investigators realize that something must have happened to her that allowed her to survive the explosion. They also discover that the spider on her shoulder is an incredibly intelligent being that seems to have formed a telepathic link with Mimi, as he is able to communicate thoughts to her without speaking.
Less than a day later, they discover that while the original 'Chen Anomaly' is traversable like the looking glasses and leads to an alien world, that gate isn't their only problem as a deadly new species begins to thunder through some of the various secondary gates, killing people and spreading a fungus-analogue organism that carpets the ground and buildings around it, devours every organic substance in its path, and proves resistant to most chemical and physical containment measures. Weaver and SEAL Command Master Chief Miller are among the response to a panicked call about 'demons'. A gate is discovered nearby. A team is sent through and triggers a fierce alien counterattack that the local human defenses barely manage to push back through the gate. Later, a second wave comes though this and other gates.
Other Looking Glasses open to worlds with hostile environments and set off panic about planet-wide ecological collapse. Mankind makes friendly contact with a felinoid species, the Mree. The Mree representative explains that the hostile aliens, the T!Ch!R! in the Mree language, are a pest that seem to go with the gates. Humans pronounce the word as Titcher. They meet with the Mree Emperor, and begin to discuss explorations into each other's cultures. In one of the first spots the Titcher came through, their combat-bred forms are continually breaking through the human lines of defense. The American forces pull back from several gates and launch missiles to clear out overwhelming alien ground forces. After they start getting new activity at one of the missile-blasted gates, Weaver, accompanied by a SEAL team, takes a look at Titcher forces on the other side of a gate. Once through, they discover that the Titcher are actually a race of one organism that produces these fighting creatures, their equivalent of antibodies, to spread through the gates and take over other worlds. As they spot an oncoming Titcher nuke for retaliation against airstrikes, they shoot to stop it. The nuke goes off, tearing open Weaver's suit and killing several SEALs. However, the explosion destabilizes it and the Mree gate temporarily. Weaver escapes by chance, having been pushed into the gate by the explosion and into another dimension, where he meets Tuffy's people.
Another race is contacted through yet another gate. The Adar are ahead of humans in technological development. The Adar are friendly with humans upon first contact. They have had trouble with the Titcher, which they call the Dreen because of the howl of one of the fighting units. Humans soon adopt this name. The Dreen have begun to overwhelm human defenses at every gate they have access to once more by the time human and Adar governments establish solid enough contact to allow mutual understanding. The Adar provide humans with a weapon that can close the Dreen Looking Glasses, but if it goes off on the Earth side, it will destroy the planet. After the Mree prove to be a Dreen feint, the U.S. army attacks Mree forces near that Looking Glass to draw them away. Weaver and a SEAL team in temperamental powered combat armor suits deploy the Adar bomb through the unguarded gate. It and the other Dreen Looking Glasses close.
Military forces eventually overwhelm remaining Dreen forces. A few Mree and members of another Dreen slave race are taken prisoner. There is no food on Earth that can provide the nutrients they need. The Mree choose suicide over starvation. The Adar give Weaver a small black box that has an interesting effect when exposed to electricity - having the properties of exponentially increasing the output of energy based on the energy provided to it. Its other properties are explored in sequels.
- Mimi Jones
- Miller, SEAL Command Master Chief
- "Tuffy," an alien of possible extradimensional origin
- Dr. William Weaver