End of An Era Paperback – Oct 19 2001
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
Don't pick up End of an Era unless you're prepared to have a good time. Robert J. Sawyer's novel is a lively mix of time travel, dinosaurs, and a classic love triangle. It's a lot of fun, a bit like listening to a musician who you know is playing for the sheer joy of it. End of an Era pays tribute to those old time-travelling dinosaur-hunter stories where one misstep changes the course of history. Sawyer updates the science, both physics and paleontology, and adds an old-fashioned career/romance rivalry between the two time travellers. When he throws in a mystery regarding the gravity of Earth in the distant past, along with some fairly strange Martians, the whole thing becomes the SF equivalent of a new roller-coaster ride, made up of familiar parts but shinier and more thrilling than the old one. End of an Era is the kind of book with pleasures for both the new and experienced SF reader. The story on its own terms is entertainingly written, and for the reader of the classics can enjoy spotting the references and tributes to stories past. --Greg L. Johnson
Veteran archaeologist Brandon Thackery fulfills a dinosaur lover's dream when he and colleague-best friend Miles "Klicks" Jordan take history's first time-traveling jaunt back to the late Mesozoic. Hoping to solve the great mystery of dinosaur extinction, Brandon and Klicks use the newly discovered Huang Effect to backtrack into Earth's 65-million-year past. There they discover not only that the earth's gravity is half its twenty-first-century value but that the beings responsible for this are blue-slime creatures from Mars that manipulate the dinosaurs like pawns. Meanwhile, back in an alternate time line in which no Huang Effect exists, Brandon discovers an outrageous laptop diary, apparently written by himself, that relates all these incredible adventures; he tracks down a previously unknown Dr. Huang for an explanation. Sawyer parlays his enduring enthusiasm for dinosaurs--his last three novels featured them--into refreshing fun and thought-provoking entertainment. He'll satisfy his own fans and those of dinosaurs and old-fashioned time-traveling yarns, too. Carl Hays --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
All of Sawyer's books are interesting to read, and I've read most of them. My main complaint is his writing style: it's simple; he seems to intentionally write with little imagery or style, using colloquialisms and cultural references too much. Yet, his ideas are fascinating, and he knows how to get his point across. I've read most of his books more than once; they are fun to read.
There's another twist to the tale: this is about alternate histories, after all...
As usual, Sawyer's prose is no more than workmanlike, but he keeps us intriqued with a flow of new ideas, cutting between his alternate histories, and enough personal conflict and feeling to get us involved with his main character.
While I love his page-a-minute ideas, his explanations of mundane events strain credibility. For example, why was the time travel venture so low budget they needed to buy second-hand goods (p. 53)? His explanation of a world recession (p. 95) is ridiculous - Sawyer has never been good at economics but this just made me laugh. Meanwhile, Sawyer would have us think a time travel venture needs good PR (p. 53). Also, why were 2 rivals (only 2 for this mission?) sent back in time? The explanation on p. 148 was hardly satisfying (i.e. mission control spent a lot of time debating it). Finally, why doesn't Thackeray identify himself as a doctor to a fellow scientist (p. 78)? The scientist refuses to listen to him until Thackeray mentions he's a doctor on p. 132. The reason for the delay, of course, is to have the resolution of this plot line occur later in the novel.
Despite these minor quibbles, the novel's far-fetched ideas had me smiling throughout the book. The writing is crisp and the twists hooked me until the end. Sawyer's knowledge of paleontology and physics kept the science fiction elements believable. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking fun science fiction. Like many of the reviewers, I also enjoyed other Sawyer books such as Terminal Experiment and Starplex.
The theme of End of an Era recounts the probable cause of the dinosaurs' extinction. Sawyer uses the story to review the thinking resulting from the Alvarez proposal that a wandering asteroid so disrupted the environment that all the large sauropods died out, leaving the planet an open niche for mammalian life. If an asteroid didn't kill off the dinosaurs, what did? The most discussed option is an era of massive vulcanism which would have the same effect. But Sawyer, with his gift of imagination, introduces a new option. Again, his concept has a sound scientific base and he describes it at some length. His presentation is impressive and well delivered. And a terrifying surprise.
Along with his scientific foundation, Sawyer paints realistic characters. The protagonist is a paleontologist with the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto [Sawyer's lucky, he lives close to his sources], and one can't help but wonder who the model might be. Brandon Thackeray, in the midst of devastating mid-life crises, is chosen as one of the two time travellers. His team-mate couldn't have been a worse choice for such an assignment - he's taken up with Brandon's ex-wife.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
enjoyable escape to watch over and over, love sci fi channel shows, added to my collection for rainy days and wintery nightsPublished on July 29 2013 by Gerri
I was expecting more of a "Jurassic Park" novel, so thid was a bit of a surprise. It's an OK read, but the characters are one-dimensional. Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2004 by dandysmom
End of an Era is a great book about two scientists who go back in time to see how the dinosuars died. It has some mystery, and theories on how the dinosaurs died. Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2003
END OF AN ERA is a time travel novel back to the era of dinosaurs. Not only do we find dinosaurs but the galaxy itself is active with sentient beings - including Martians. Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2003
This one really got me thinking. Dinosaurs infected with intelligent viruses? Like Dinotopia meets The Body Snatchers. Time travel. Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2002
If you are looking for a entertaining "what if" type author, Robert Saywer is the author to buy. Read morePublished on July 30 2002 by Shane Jaworski
With this one, Sawyer bends the rules a little more. The basis of this novel are less... convincing than what Sawyer usually offers. However, it also is lighter. Read morePublished on July 25 2002 by Yves-François Blanchet