SFX - April 1999
Labelling Mirrorman as SF does it something of a disservice. Actually, classifying it at all is difficult. There are elements of VR, for instance, but Mirrorman's version owes more to Quatermass and the Pit than William Gibson.
The problem is that whereas Trevor Hoyle introduces his concept slowly, providing a few hints of weird connections as he flips between the death row cell where murderer Frank Kersh is about to meet his end, the offices of software consultant Jeff Cawdor and the 18th century sailing ship which is carrying Cawdor's ancestors to the New World, the cover blurb has put it up-front, so the first hundred pages are spent telling us something we already know. As the electric chair cuts in, Kersh's last moment of life is extended by the Messengers, a cult whose aims have always been thwarted by Cawdor, or his previous incarnations.
The concept is that while held outside of time in this way, Kersh is able to operate in the world of quantum mechanics, changing reality for other alternatives in such a way as to destroy the threat Cawdor poses. This he does with calculated brutality, and Hoyle introduces an addictive pressure to the set-piece confrontations between the two, particularly in the 18th century sections. The violence of Kersh's mind is so vividly portrayed that without an equal strength to his victims the pages describing his attacks are more distasteful than disturbing. * * *