Wednesday 8 December 2010

Timescape by Gregory Benford

This is a fascinating and gripping novel, full of ideas, expressed lyrically but with precision and peopled with well-rounded characters whose personal and inner lives are not merely dimension-lending addenda to the story. It falls apart a bit because there are maybe too many ideas, too many strands of thought and speculation - time travel, time paradoxes, multiple universes, the nature of time, of reality, of causation, unpredictable outcomes, environmental myopia and so forth. These are all interesting elements, dealt with intelligently, but it's all a bit too much for even this relatively lengthy novel (around 400 pages in trade paperback) and as a result some of the themes seem insufficiently explored or resolved. Still, a good novel, both as science fiction and as fiction, and it gives me more reason to explore Benford's work than the first of his novels that I tried, 'Against Infinity'.

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