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  #51  
Old 11-17-2002, 11:31 AM
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I read the first Outlander and didn't like it very much. It really was a romance novel, and I don't like romance novels.
  #52  
Old 11-17-2002, 11:39 AM
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I read a short story when I was a child that was written by Michael Moorcock, I think. It was about a guy who went back in time to find Jesus Christ and upon finding Joseph and Mary, he found Jesus' other siblings and a retarded boy. The story then details how the traveller inadvertantly assumes the role of Christ and eventually becomes crucified.

I seem to recall that it was a very clever and well-constructed story (though I read it more than 15 years ago).

Does anyone know of the story I am referring to?
  #53  
Old 11-17-2002, 12:34 PM
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Where the hell are the Poul Anderson fans? Try his novels "The Corridors of Time" and "There Will be Time." They're much better, IMO, than his Time Patrol series

Robert Silverberg wrote an excellent novella, "Hawksbill Station," about a penal camp in the Cambrian. It was expanded into a novel, but I haven't read that novel.

It's only a novelette, but I highly recommend Peter Phillips' "Manna," which is in Silverberg's collection Trips in Time

I agree with Meacham about de Camp's Lest Darkness Fall and "A Gun for Dinosaur." Wonderful stories, both.

Also agree with Baker about "He Walked Around the Horses." Beautifully written and well-researched.

A.E. van Vogt's The Weapon Shops of Isher does have time travel as a minor element. And, as Anthony Boucher wrote, it has the best ending line in science fiction.
  #54  
Old 11-17-2002, 01:00 PM
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Leo Frankowski wrote a series of books starting with "The CrossTime Engineer". I think there's about 6 of em all told. Kinda cheesy and "overly male" (I don't want to say misogynistic 'cos I think that's a bit strong) but a fun read all the same.

Fella gets transported back to medieval poland, and ends up creating an empire for himself based on his wits and technical savvy. Interesting digressions on shared property, the capitalist model, use of base-12 arithmetic, industrial chemistry etc.

Anybody else familiar with these?

'vark
  #55  
Old 11-17-2002, 01:06 PM
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I can't believe I didn't think to mention The Dealings of Daniel Kesserich, also by Fritz Leiber. I just read it a few weeks ago.

It was written quite a few years back but only published in 1997. One of the blurbs on the jacket mentions both H.G. Wells and Lovecraft - and it's right! Great stuff!
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  #56  
Old 11-17-2002, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DarkWriter
Lightning, by Dean Koontz. A woman's "guardian angel" is actually a time traveler who is in love with her.
This is a really good book, one of Koontz's better books, IMHO.
(Koontz can be all over the map in terms of quality)

I figured out he was a time traveler, but was blown away by where he was traveling from.
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  #57  
Old 11-17-2002, 06:57 PM
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Here's another one for you...

"The Last Starship From Earth" by John Boyd.

In an semi-Orwellian present a student falls in love with a forbidden woman who turns out to be from an exile planet. He goes back in time to prevent his present and rescues Jesus. He ends up being the Wandering Jew.
  #58  
Old 11-17-2002, 11:55 PM
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Bradbury had a nice short story called "The Toynbee Convector", in which an inventor created a machine that took him about 100 years into the future, from which he brought back proof that Earth had become a paradise and everyone lived in peace and harmony. The story is set at this future point where the Utopians are waiting to greet his arrival.
SPOILER:
They discover that his time machine and all his 'evidence' was fake, and he had never travelled into the future at all. He made up everything in an attempt to inspire mankind to pull itself out of its rut and cure all its problems. It succeeded because people, believing taht his trip to the future had been real, no longer had any fear that they would fail.
  #59  
Old 11-18-2002, 12:11 AM
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Johnny B. Goode: That'd be Behold The Man. I remember it was an interesting book, but I last read it years ago, now.
  #60  
Old 11-18-2002, 12:18 AM
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Ack. Preview, not Submit.

I wanted to add: The version I have (someplace around here) was published as a novel, though it was awfully short, if memory serves.

He also wrote a short story, Elric at the End of Time in which he poked fun at his character, in a collection of short stories published under the same name.

[Not a Time Travel Story]
Also in the same collection, he wrote another story that completely eviscerated his own Eternal Champion-type stories (in general, though mostly it was a lampoon of Corum) with a whiney, doom-laden main character who was composed almost entirely of the grafted on body parts of demi-gods and demons. Worth reading, if you're at all a fan of the genre.
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  #61  
Old 11-18-2002, 01:29 AM
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There's been so many...my favorites are the ones that explore alternate realities.

Guns of the South is one I read recently that was surprisingly good. In 2014 a radical group of South African white supremacists have stolen a device that transports you app. 150 years backwards in time. They intend to rewrite history and make the Confederacy a stronghold of racism in modern times, and do this by providing the Confederacy with 100,000 AK-47s.

The story is told from the point of view of a few different characters, mainly General Lee and a soldier from North Carolina. The background of the time travellers comes out in clues obvious to modern people, but it's not too long before some of the historical characters find out what's going on too. The story moves quickly - the actual war is less than half of the book, and the remainder tracks the changes and problems faced by the Confederacy over the next several years. Another interesting element is that nearly every character in the book is based on a real person, even minor characters, although some had details changed to fit the story or to fill in blanks.

It reads as really good historical fiction, it's obvious the author did his research and knew his stuff. The false history that results from the changes made by the time travelers has a feeling of reality to it that makes one wish you could read more about it, i.e. the war between the USA and Britain, the battles with escaped slaves who formed greatly feared bandit tribes out west...a lot of stuff gets mentioned in passing that I wish had been elaborated on.
  #62  
Old 11-18-2002, 07:36 AM
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I just want to second the mention of Kage Baker's "The Company" series--it begins with In the Garden of Iden. Wonderfully inventive stories of time traveling cyborgs!

Another one that was a favorite of mine in high school is Time After Time by Karl Alexander. It's about H.G. Wells inventing a time machine that gets used by Jack the Ripper and Wells has to go forward in time to stop him. Hmmm, now that I think about it, it may be time to drag that one out for a reread.
  #63  
Old 11-18-2002, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Leo Frankowski wrote a series of books starting with "The CrossTime Engineer". I think there's about 6 of em all told. Kinda cheesy and "overly male" (I don't want to say misogynistic 'cos I think that's a bit strong) but a fun read all the same.

Fella gets transported back to medieval poland, and ends up creating an empire for himself based on his wits and technical savvy. Interesting digressions on shared property, the capitalist model, use of base-12 arithmetic, industrial chemistry etc.

Anybody else familiar with these?

'vark
Take a look at my post above , haardvark. I mentioned 'em.
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  #64  
Old 11-18-2002, 07:47 AM
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Another vote for Heinlein's The Door into Summer. A great book and great paradoxes.
  #65  
Old 11-18-2002, 11:04 AM
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Here is another vote for Tim Powers' 'Anubis Gates'. I just reread it again and it is an amazing adventure and includes your 18th century England and Eygpt plus 14th century England.

How about Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse 5'?
  #66  
Old 11-18-2002, 02:05 PM
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"Behold the Man" by Moorcock was originally a novella. As such, it was one of the absolute greatest sf stories of the 60s, of all time, really.

But I remember the book-length version as being incredibly disappointing.
  #67  
Old 11-18-2002, 02:40 PM
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One that I enjoyed was Island in the sea of time by S M Stirling. The link gives a brief overview of the novel and also mentions that this is the first of a trilogy. Have not finished the second book yet, but the first one on its own is a good read.
  #68  
Old 11-18-2002, 02:42 PM
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I love Twain's Connecticut Yankee, mentioned by quite a few others on this thread.

Another great nineteenth century novel was Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward, 2000-1887 in which he describes the US in 2000 as a type of socialist utopia, in contrast to the horrendous working conditions and the pains of industrialization during the Gilded Age.
  #69  
Old 11-19-2002, 12:27 AM
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Yep. Definitely The Door Into Summer. One of my favorite books.
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Old 11-19-2002, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by haardvark
Leo Frankowski wrote a series of books starting with "The CrossTime Engineer". I think there's about 6 of em all told. Kinda cheesy and "overly male" (I don't want to say misogynistic 'cos I think that's a bit strong)
I don't.

The scene in the third(?) book where the woman is raped and all the characters including the hero stand outside the door cheering and making jokes isn't all that woman-friendly...and the fact that the rape works as a romantic gambit (she marries the rapist, 'cause all a woman needs is a good f*cking to make her fall in love )is pretty damned misogynistic.

And there's never any challenge or threat. He's NEVER in any danger. Conrad is such a Mary-Sue of a character that he could outfight Juan Rico (in full battle-armor), outthink Hari Seldon, outsneak Lazarus Long, etc.

He knows everything (th' guy writes a book on nuclear physics, he just happens to know the locations off all ancient mineral deposits, he's an agricultural genius, he's a master chemist and metallurgist, all this in addition to being an engineer who can build anything.) I'm just fine with heroes being heroically competent, but this is insane.

In the horribly named Conrad's Quest for Rubber, you've got retarded Oompa-Loompas (who look like the kind from the book, not the fat orange kind from the movie) living in South America AND you have
SPOILER:
Magic godlike Time Travellers who solve all Conrad's problems. THAT makes for good reading Th' upshot is that Conrad decides he needs rubber and sets sail for South America. He gets there, meets the tribe of Oompa Loompas, gets married to one and spreads European diseases amongst the native people of South America and then, when the epidemic is to pandemic proportions, the magic time travellers show up and give Conrad a Serum of Deus Ex Machina. And that makes everything all better.


The first book is still a fun romp but each subsequent book is like ten times worse than the last. And for God's sake, stay away from Fata Morgana by Frankoski. It makes Pel Torro's work look like Urusla K. LeGuin's.

Fenris
  #71  
Old 11-19-2002, 10:09 AM
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I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Roadmarks by Roger Zelazny. In that book, the protagonist drives an old pickup truck along a highway with exits that take you to different times and places. One of my favorite scenes is where he pulls into a truck stop along the way and his windshield is washed by a soldier from one of the Crusades, who's hoping a priest will show up to release him from his vow of chastity. (One of the characters is a talking copy of Leaves of Grass.)

I wish somebody would make a good movie version of Connecticut Yankee, and bring back Twain's truly vicious satire rather than playing it as a farce.
  #72  
Old 11-19-2002, 10:28 AM
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I wish somebody would make a good movie version of Connecticut Yankee, and bring back Twain's truly vicious satire rather than playing it as a farce.
I very much second this. But it's not usually done as farce -- twice it's been a vehicle for a star (Will Rogers, Bing Crosby). The problem is that nobody is going to present Twain's criticism of Catholicism. I have yet to see a version that approaches the material (all of it) as Twain did. Hell, I'll settle for a good version of the "restoration of the Holy Fountain" sequence.
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  #73  
Old 11-19-2002, 12:50 PM
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I should have known that Fenris would beat me to posting the name of "Elsewhen." And I want to be about the fifth vote for The Door Into Summer.

But perhaps the most poignant time travel story ever written hasn't been mentioned: Asimov's "The Ugly Little Boy."

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(who has found his own door into summer)
  #74  
Old 11-19-2002, 01:27 PM
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Interesting how few women are being mentioned here as authors. Let me add one more.

Octavia Butler's Kindred is about a black woman from 1976 who is brought into the past, over and over, to save the life of the white slaveowner who would be one of her ancestors. Without her intercession he would die and she would never be born. But to do that she has to live as a slave in the early 19th century. Haunting book.
  #75  
Old 11-19-2002, 02:12 PM
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I'd have to go with the one I just read. Terry Pratchett's Night Watch.

Also, Heinlein- Farnham's Freehold, and Asimov-The End of Eternity.
  #76  
Old 11-19-2002, 04:01 PM
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How about The Eight, by Katherine Neville, Exapno? It's not my favorite time-travel book of all, but I enjoyed it very much. It's been a while so the plot details are fuzzy, but it has to do with Charlemagne's chess set.
  #77  
Old 11-19-2002, 05:43 PM
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Maybe not time travel so much as a different perspective on time, but Billy Pilgrim becoming unstuck in time in Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s Slaughterhouse Five has to rank right up there as one the most original.
  #78  
Old 11-19-2002, 05:59 PM
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Live From Golgotha by Gore Vidal.

Funny as hell, and a compelling conspiracy/mystery.

A weird synthesis of Kabbala and "cyberpunk" forms the principal conceit-- that a "hacker" has infected the gospels with a destructive virus, which, when it runs its course, will cause the phenomenological universe to cease to exist.

One of the lesser apostles is contacted by agents from the future and charged with inscribing a covert account of the gospels, to avert a premature apocalypse. Meanwhile, television networks engage in all manner of intrigues in order to beat each other out for the opportunity to carry exclusive "live" footage of the crucifixion.

You must read this book, if only to learn the secret origin of Bingo.
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Old 11-19-2002, 06:02 PM
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And I second Kindrid.
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Old 11-19-2002, 10:37 PM
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Have to put in a vote for Mike McQuays "Memories". It's out of print but I remember reading it as a kid and thinking wow. If I could get hold of a copy maybe I'd be able to give an adult opnion (it was kinda an adult book, I'm sure my Mother wouldn't have approved). Still it was good at the time and I'd love to get hold of a copy, even Amazon don't offer it, I guess it's time for 2nd handbook shops.

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  #81  
Old 11-19-2002, 10:47 PM
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And then there's David Gerrold's [/i]The Man Who Folded Himself[/i], the twistiest novel about time travel complexities ever conceived of.
  #82  
Old 11-19-2002, 11:13 PM
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The absolute best time travel story ever written or ever likely to be written is Heinlein's "By his Own Bootstraps". Heinlein, in general, is capable of both extremes of the spectrum: His good time-travel stuff (BhOB, "All You Zombies", The Door into Summer, Time Enough for Love) is all excellent, but his bad time-travel material ("Elsewhen", The Cat who Walked through Walls, The Number of the Beast) is terrible.

And I'd like to add a negative vote for The End of Eternity. There's no time travel in it. All it is is a really bad space opera, with the word "time" substituted for "space", "physiotime" for "time", and "century" for "planet". I mean, Eternity is supposed to be the only medium for exchange between different Centuries? What, does the planet dissappear and start from scratch every time the year shows a double zero?

Asimov's best time travel story is probably "The Red Queen's Race". "The Ugly Little Boy" wasn't too bad, but its appeal had nothing to do with the time travel aspect (which Asimov mangled as usual). And "The Dead Past" was good, but it wasn't really a time travel story.

I'll also throw in a mention of The Stars My Destination, here (I know I'm not the only fellow on the SDMB who likes that one). Who wrote that one, again? It's a bit surreal, but definitely good if you like that sort of thing.
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  #83  
Old 11-20-2002, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fenris
In the horribly named Conrad's Quest for Rubber, you've got retarded Oompa-Loompas (who look like the kind from the book, not the fat orange kind from the movie) living in South America AND you have
SPOILER:
Magic godlike Time Travellers who solve all Conrad's problems. THAT makes for good reading Th' upshot is that Conrad decides he needs rubber and sets sail for South America. He gets there, meets the tribe of Oompa Loompas, gets married to one and spreads European diseases amongst the native people of South America and then, when the epidemic is to pandemic proportions, the magic time travellers show up and give Conrad a Serum of Deus Ex Machina. And that makes everything all better.


The first book is still a fun romp but each subsequent book is like ten times worse than the last. And for God's sake, stay away from Fata Morgana by Frankoski. It makes Pel Torro's work look like Urusla K. LeGuin's.

Fenris
Not disagreeing about the quality of the books, but the main character in Quest for Rubber is not Conrad. And did you know that there is another one out in hardback? Conrad's Time Machine Looked like more of the same.

Lok
  #84  
Old 11-20-2002, 12:55 AM
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Stanley Shapiro's A Time to Remember and these others.
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Old 11-20-2002, 01:32 AM
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I agree completely with Greywolf73's and Captain Amazing's recommendation of

The Doomsday Book, and To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

Thanks to Hazel to pointing out "Time Watch" from _Time Watch & other Stories_.

Actually thank to all of you guys, this makes a great reading list.
  #86  
Old 11-20-2002, 01:49 AM
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The Smithsonian Institution - Gore Vidal
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Old 11-20-2002, 09:45 AM
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I'll also throw in a mention of The Stars My Destination, here ... Who wrote that one, again?
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Old 11-20-2002, 12:54 PM
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Haven't read many; vote best novel Time and Again. Worst, I'm sorry to say, is Madeleine L'Engle's A Swiftly Tilting Planetthen Slaughterhouse 5.
best in short story, April in Parisby Le Guin.
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Old 11-20-2002, 02:40 PM
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The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
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Old 11-20-2002, 04:14 PM
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Many years ago I read one about a team of mercenaries who go back to the Alamo and hand out some whoopass to Santa Ana, all so a super-rich guy can gain control of the Mexican oil fields. They are stuck in that time, since there isn't enough power in the world to bring them back. The day is saved when somebody from even farther in the future imports another Mexican army, and Davy and the boys get wiped out one day later. Anybody remember this one?
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Old 11-20-2002, 04:32 PM
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I'm not a big fan of time travel books, but I'll join the crowd and agree with the round of applause for Connecticut Yankee... it combines Arthurian fiction (one of my favorite genres) with some of the best satire this side of Monty Python. How can you not like it?

I'll also second Atreyu's recommendation of Replay by Ken Grimwood. One of the finest time travel stories i've ever read, if only because it takes it from a very unique perspective.

My original recommendations... Stephen King's short novel "The Langoliers." Again, a refreshing take on time travel that doesn't involve the reverse causality problems most time travel stories get into. A pretty good story, and an original one, with King's usual footprint on it.

And though it's not strictly about time travel, Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman is one of the best books I have ever read. Time travel (or ideas about time travel) certainly play a large part in most of its vignettes.

I tried reading the first Outlander book, after my wife recommended it to me. We lived near Gabaldon's family and she was a frequent visitor in our local bookstores at the time (nice enough woman, at least then). I finished it, but I can't say I was all that impressed. As a time-travel story, it's a fairly standard progression of causality loops and such. As a historical romance, it's above the cut of most books of that genre (and yes, I have read others). As a historical novel, it's all right. An interesting book, in ways, but not compelling enough for me to read the rest of the series. She got the history mostly right, but the story was thin to me.
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Old 11-20-2002, 04:44 PM
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Originally posted by Hazel
And "Timescape". Can't remember who wrote it.
That would be Gregory Benford.
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Old 11-20-2002, 09:12 PM
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Originally posted by Avalonian
<snip>
And though it's not strictly about time travel, Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman is one of the best books I have ever read. Time travel (or ideas about time travel) certainly play a large part in most of its vignettes.

<snip>
Whoa! Hold on there! I read that book when it came out, mainly because of the positive quote from Salman Rushdie on the back of the book. When I finished the it, I was sorely tempted to send Salman a letter which said, "If you think that's a great book, you really need to get out more."
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Old 11-20-2002, 09:43 PM
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The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
Well, if we include that, we should mention the ultimate time-dilation story, Poul Anderson's Tau Zero, in which the crew of a ramjet-type starship is unable to shut down their engine and stop accelerating, and consequently push so close to lightspeed that they actually ride out the collapse and rebirth of the entire universe.
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Old 11-20-2002, 09:59 PM
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Can I pleeeeze be the 48th person to also mention Finney's Time and Again?

It's one of my favorite novels of all time and based on your OP, it's perfect.
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Old 11-20-2002, 11:48 PM
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The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges is an excellent short story as well, though more in the alternate-worlds mode, IIRC. I read it years ago.

There's a rather strange site based on the story right here.

(As good as they are, I don't think either Tau Zero or The Forever War really count as time travel, even though time is the whole basis for both. Read them anyway!)
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Old 11-21-2002, 01:16 AM
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Julian May's Pleistocene Saga is a tetrology that is also an absolute hoot, space opera in the grand style without being over the top even when you throw in a pair of alien races, a time warp in a French lady's basement, advanced mental powers, kings and queens, combat on the fields of gold and the flooding of the Mediterranean Sea.

Also near the absolute top of my time travel list is a short story by Clifford Simak called "Time and Again." Similar titles, have been used for books which bear no relation to this gentle story about the way many of us fantasize about time travel. The hero goes to sleep one night and wakes up the next morning as a teenager in his old family home with all of his memories intact. His father finally figures out that his son is acting different and son confides in dad. They end up preventing a neighborhood murder that the son knows is coming. Top notch work by one of the most overlooked writers out there, IMHO.
  #98  
Old 11-21-2002, 01:17 PM
Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Aarrgghhh.

I hate people who don't read through threads and then go and post something that had already been said.

And here I go and do it not once, but twice, in the same thread.

So my apologies to Athena and Sam Stone.

I don't know how I missed your posts, but I did, and I now feel like an idiot.

Good thread, though, and good books, so I hope mentioning them more than once gets them noticed so at least some good comes out of it.
  #99  
Old 11-22-2002, 12:37 AM
Lok is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hometownboy
Also near the absolute top of my time travel list is a short story by Clifford Simak called "Time and Again." Similar titles, have been used for books which bear no relation to this gentle story about the way many of us fantasize about time travel. The hero goes to sleep one night and wakes up the next morning as a teenager in his old family home with all of his memories intact. His father finally figures out that his son is acting different and son confides in dad. They end up preventing a neighborhood murder that the son knows is coming. Top notch work by one of the most overlooked writers out there, IMHO.
While Simak may have written a story with a similar plot, this sounds like Time and Time Again by H. Beam Piper. It was originally published in 1947, so it predates Simak by a while.

Lok
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Old 11-22-2002, 02:14 AM
Larry Mudd is offline
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Hometownboy and Lok, I'm positive that the story you are both describing is actually Time and Again by Jack Finney. The murder involves the loan of the father's gun, right?

Did Clifford D. Simak and H. Beam Piper both write similar stories, or are we all experiencing some sort of time-travel glitch, here?
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