Terraplane, the second in Jack Womack's acclaimed Ambient series, is a vision of alternate reality -- New York in 1939, as experienced by travelers from the twenty-first century. Retired general-turned-corporate-spy Luther Biggerstaff and his hit man Jake are on a covert mission to kidnap Soviet superscientist Alekhine for their boss, the head of the multinational corporation Dryco. But Alekhine has disappeared, and they must be content with his genius assistant Oktobriana and a device he left behind -- which catapults them headlong into the past. But this 1939 is different -- slavery was not abolished until 1907, F.D.R. has been assassinated, and the Great Depression has cut even deeper; Churchill has died in a street accident, and the world is at Hitler's mercy. The only hope Luther and Jake have of getting home again depends on an unlikely conjunction of the New York World's Fair, the blues tunes of Robert Johnson, and the avant-garde physics of Nikola Tesla. Terraplane is a surreal, darkly comic, and gripping journey into the twilight zone of history gone mad.