Four-BEE was an utopian city. If you didn’t mind being taken care of all your long long life, having a wild time as a “jang” teen-ager, able to do anything you wanted from killing yourself innumerable times, changing bodies, changing sex, and raising perpetual hell, it could be heaven.
But for one inhabitant there was always something askew. He/she had tried everything and yet the taste always soured. And then he/she succeeded in committing the one illegal act – and was thrown out of heaven forever.
But forever is not a term any native of that robotic utopia understood. And so he/she challenged the rules, declared independence, and set out to prove that a human was still smarter than the cleverest and most protective robot.
The epic voyage of the spacecraft Leonora Christine will take her and her fifty-strong crew to a planet some thirty light-years distant. But, because the ship will accelerate to close to the speed of light, for those on board subjective time will slow and the journey will be of only a few years’ duration.
Then a buffeting by an interstellar dustcloud changes everything. The ship’s deceleration system is damaged irreperably and soon she is gaining velocity. When she attains light-speed, tau zero itself, the disparity between ship-time and external time becomes almost impossibly great. Eons and galaxies hurtle by, and the crew of the Leonora Christine speeds into the unknown.
The rift in the fabric of space was fast approaching the Well World, and time was running out. Troops all over the planet were gathering for the final battle.
Nathan Brazil and Mavra Chang somehow had to reach the Well of Souls in time to save the universe and before any of the hostile natives managed to kill them.
At best, a difficult mission. At worst, impossible – especially since there was a price on Brazil’s head and many would be claimants! For Brazil, the difficult was but the work of a moment – the impossible would take a little longer!
Out of body, out of time…
Though basically a skeptic, William Reynolds had known out-of-body experiences in the past. But never before had he floated past the boundaries of Baltimore . . . and across the borders of time. And now, with the fires of Civil War looming on the horizon, the astonished graduate student was hobnobbing with none other than the dark poet Edgar Allan Poe. But their meeting of minds was to have chilling consequences. For a desperate Confederacy planned to use them both to remold the world – and to change history…for the worse.
It’s jang to be wild and sexy and reckless and teen-age.
It’s jang to do daredevil tricks and even get killed a few times…you could always come alive again.
It’s jang to change your body, to switch your sex, to do anything you want to keep up with the crowd.
But there comes a time when you begin to think about serious things, to want to do something valid. And that’s when you find out there are rules beyond the rules and that the world is something else than all they’d taught you.
The planet Kerim must have been Utopia – once. All its inhabitants had to do when they wanted something was to pray out loud for it – and what they wanted would materialise before their eyes. But by the time Jack Waley crashed on it, its best days had long been gone – and its future was strictly limited.
Which was typical Jack Waley luck. He had bungled and blundered his way across the space lanes, messing up everything he tried and being castaway on Kerim looked like the end of the line.
For Kerim’s people were now bands of confused savages and its cities crumbling ruins. And this time Waley knew that he’d have to change a whole world’s luck if he wanted to save his own neck one more time.
Operation Timestop: Post-holocaust Paris is a pretty seedy stand-in for the original, but what can you expect when the goverment’s main function is Orgasm Prevention & when the national hero is wandering around in Nowhen. But things are changing! Rumor has it that the Timetraveler is coming back in a few months. At which point, Time itself will come to an end.
In his epic adventures in the alternative Twentieth Centuries, Chrononaut Oswald Bastable, member of the League of Temporal Adventurers, has crossed and re-crossed many different time-streams. Some of his previous experiences have been told in The Land Leviathan and The Warlord of the Air.Now, in what may be the last communication from him, he tells of a world in which the Bolshevik Revolution never happened…
The Steel Tsar finds him travelling backwards in time from a shell-shocked Singapore to a Russian Empire seething with conflict and preyed on by motley bands of rogues and adventurers. Here he meets up with fellow-time-traveler Miss Una Persson, and together they change the course of a history whose legendary deeds exceed the bounds of everyday imagination and glitter in the exuberant land of the eternal present.
Paul Heisenberg is mysteriously endowed with the ability to jump through time. Together with thousands of eventual followers, he begins a journey that eventually takes him a billion years into the future. The Earth has been devastated by war with an alien race, and the changes that have resulted from the degradation of the world’s biosphere force him–and others–to rethink their own humanity. His pilgrim’s progress through the coming time is beset by doubts, distractions, and temptations as various voices attempt to distract him from his determination to follow the process through to its end. He eventually witnesses the complete transformation of the Earth, and the evolution of a single omnipotent but mindless Gaean organism. Is intelligence itself just a brief candle, forever doomed to burn out? Or can Paul find some other alternative for his race.
Three times had the scientific genius, Kaifeng, slipped through the hands of the men of FATE – and three times those equally fanatic guardians of the fragile structure of interworld peace had tracked him down again.
But now Kaifeng had something that the Free Acting Terran Envoys had never met before. He had a ship beyond all previous capacities, he had a crew of dedicated devils, and he had FATE’s finest operative as his hostage.
And when FATE pursued him beyond the very Milky Way itself, beyond the Galactic Lens, things changed very rapidly – for out there Kaifeng had the means to enforce a stop to human progress – and he would not hesitate to use it!
It’s a super-space-thriller in the Star Trek tradition!
While attempting to repel an intergalactic invasion, mankind resorts to a weapon of such awesome destructive power that it undermines the Well World computer’s control of time and space – and threatens the very existence of the Universe.
It is up to Mavra Chang – victim and veteran of the Wars of the Well – and Obie, her sophisticated computer companion, to find the only being capable of travelling to the desolate Well World to repair the damage at source.
The infamous and near-mythical Nathan Brazil does not want to be found. But Mavra and Obie have never been ones to take no for an answer…
When Tabitha stole the Starship Plenty, she had no idea what it would come to mean. Its alien nature began to burrow into her affections. Now the rules are changing and with them come war and treachery. Tabitha is facing a crisis and this time round, Plenty might not be the saviour.
A winner of the Arthur C. Clarke and British Science Fiction Awards, the series featuring intergalactic pilot Captain Tabitha Jute concludes with her daring flight into a dying star system to avert a plot against the human race.
When the mysterious, beautiful Elleander Morning travels through time to Vienna in 1913, her aim is not to visit the birthplace of Schubert and Strauss. Instead, she has come to assassinate a struggling young artist. His name: Adolf Hitler.
But 60 years on, long after Elleander has changed the path of the world, a mysterious book – the history of a terrible, global war that never was – threatens to unravel reality. As the horrific past – a past that never happened – begins to reassert itself, billions of lives lie in the balance . . .
After long and patient research I am still unable to give to the reader of these Chronicles the exact date of the times that they tell of. Were it merely a matter of history there could be no doubts about the period; but where magic is concerned, to however slight an extent, there must always be some element of mystery, arising partly out of ignorance and partly from the compulsion of those oaths by which magic protects its precincts from the tiptoe of curiosity. Moreover, magic, even in small quantities, appears to affect time, much as acids affect some metals, curiously changing its substance, until dates seem to melt into a mercurial form that renders them elusive even to the eye of the most watchful historian. It is the magic appearing in Chronicles III and IV that has gravely affected the date, so that all I can tell the reader with certainty of the period is that it fell in the later years of the Golden Age in Spain.
BLACKOUT is the opening movement of a vast, absorbing two-volume novel that may well prove to be Connie Willis’ masterpiece. Like her multi-award winning THE DOOMSDAY BOOK, this stunning new work marries the intricate mechanics of time travel to the gritty – and dangerous – realities of human history.
The narrative opens in Oxford, England in 2060, where a trio of time traveling scholars prepares to depart for various corners of the Second World War. Their mission: to observe, from a safe vantage point, the day-to-day nature of life during this critical historical moment. As the action ranges from the evacuation of Dunkirk to the manor houses of rural England to the quotidian horrors of London during the Blitz, the objective nature of their roles gradually changes. Cut off from the safety net of the future and caught up in the chaotic events that make up history, they are forced to participate, in unexpected ways, in the defining events of the era.
BLACKOUT is an ingeniously constructed time travel novel and a grand entertainment. More than that, it is a moving, exquisitely detailed portrait of a world under siege, a world dominated by chaos, uncertainty, and the threat of imminent extinction. It is the rare sort of book that transcends the limits of genre, offering pleasure, insight, and illumination on virtually every page.