It is nearly three
decades since the discovery of the sub-spacial alternatives -
twenty-four lumps of matter hanging in a limbo outside of space and
time, each sharing the name of Earth.
Now there are only fifteen
of them - the rest blown to extinction by the ruthless attacks of the
D-squads. Even the surviving planets are doomed to a cruel, mutilated
Standing between them and their final destruction at
the hands of the merciless demolition teams is Michael Moorcock's
zaniest hero - the brilliant, offbeat physicist Professor Faustaff.
In many ways I treat Moorcock books as a form of therapy. They are one of the things I reach for when I'm feeling a bit down because they are fast, fun, are full of inventive adventure and are pretty much guaranteed to cheer me up.
'The Rituals of Infinity' or 'The New Adventures of Doctor Faustus' (which is an odd title as the main character is actually called 'Faustaff) is a multiple Earths story but not part of Moorcock's multiverse books. Here we have a group headed by the aforementioned Doctor, a Doc Savage style pulp hero, dedicated to saving the now 15 Earths from another more shadowy group that seems hell bent on destroying them. As he hops back and forth between Earths Professor Faustaff uncovers a conspiracy of cosmic proportions that results in a final act quite unlike anything else.
This is an early novel and it certainly isn't anywhere close to Moorcock at his best. The story is pretty thin but the bonkers finale is a whole heap of fun and wraps the story up nicely.