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- View topic - Time's Eye
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Time's Eye 
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Heinlein Nexus
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Post Time's Eye
Okay, so this Arthur C. Clarke/Stephen Baxter novel came out in 2005; I'm not a stickler for currency. It is billed as an "orthoquel" to 2001, which apparently is Greek for "shameless rip-off". It reads like 2001 would if it had been written by Harry Turtledove after Guns of the South. In accordance with the alternate/shredded universe theme, it contains numerous direct quotes from 2001 barely distorted from the original and has virtually identical themes. Full disclosure of the relationship is no defense against a "Huh? What's the point?" reaction.

The world suddenly undergoes regional time shifts from prehistory through 2037, with inhabitants of each zone shifted into somewhere in the 13th century. This seems related to the appearance of shiny floating spheres whose origin and intention is left for a sequel that I have no intention of reading. Most of the action revolves around the fate of a UN helicopter crew who teams up with Rudyard Kipling and Alexander the Great to take on a team from the space station who deorbit to rendezvous with Genghis Khan; the two armies collide in a siege of Babylon. I skimmed large parts of the march through the Steppes because nothing was going on besides a historical travelogue (couldn't let all that research go to waste).

Any novel that starts with a one-sentence retrospective of the past billion years of human history is unmistakeably Clarkean, of course, and I was initially favorably disposed, but as one section of 2001 after another was recycled with little suspense aside from the battle of Babylon (there's no time pressure from the spheres, so one character eventually resorts to praying to them and for no adequate reason her prayers are answered), I grew steadily more irritated.

Contrast this with another novel I read this weekend, The Templar Salvation. Excellent verisimilitude, tension, action, and drive towards a goal, with a present day timeline interwoven with a historical thread in a search for a biblical Mcguffin. Some folks may have gotten their fill with The DaVinci Code, but I'll keep lapping this stuff up as long as it's done right, and this one was.


Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:00 pm
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Post Re: Time's Eye
Still, not bad fallout from a short-story written in 1948. Three movies with associated novelizations, and now a coauthor to carry it on into territory that might give angels second thought. Who'd have thought "The Sentinel" would have led to this?

[Sour grapes. Clarke gets Stanley Kubrik and a masterpiece, RAH gets Verhoaxer and a remake of Custer at the Big Horn. Sigh.]

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OJ III


Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:47 am
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Post Re: Time's Eye
Three movies? 2001, 2010, and what am I missing?


Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:00 am
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Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:08 am
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OJ III


Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:28 am
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Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:56 pm
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Post Re: Time's Eye
My father told me that he and my mother sat through Destination Moon twice, because it was so exciting.


Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:27 am
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Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:36 pm
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Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:25 pm
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