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Time's Eye [Mass Market Paperback]

Arthur C. Clarke , Stephen Baxter
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 2005 Time Odyssey (Book 1)
Sir Arthur C. Clarke is a living legend, a writer whose name has been synonymous with science fiction for more than fifty years. An indomitable believer in human and scientific potential, Clarke is a genuine visionary. If Clarke has an heir among today’s science fiction writers, it is award-winning author Stephen Baxter. In each of his acclaimed novels, Baxter has demonstrated dazzling gifts of imagination and intellect, along with a rare ability to bring the most cerebral science dramatically to life. Now these two champions of humanism and scientific speculation have combined their talents in a novel sure to be one of the most talked-about of the year, a 2001 for the new millennium.


For eons, Earth has been under observation by the Firstborn, beings almost as old as the universe itself. The Firstborn are unknown to humankind— until they act. In an instant, Earth is carved up and reassembled like a huge jigsaw puzzle. Suddenly the planet and every living thing on it no longer exist in a single timeline. Instead, the world becomes a patchwork of eras, from prehistory to 2037, each with its own indigenous inhabitants.

Scattered across the planet are floating silver orbs impervious to all weapons and impossible to communicate with. Are these technologically advanced devices responsible for creating and sustaining the rifts in time? Are they cameras through which inscrutable alien eyes are watching? Or are they something stranger and more terrifying still?

The answer may lie in the ancient city of Babylon, where two groups of refugees from 2037—three cosmonauts returning to Earth from the International Space Station, and three United Nations peacekeepers on a mission in Afghanistan—have detected radio signals: the only such signals on the planet, apart from their own. The peacekeepers find allies in nineteenth-century British troops and in the armies of Alexander the Great. The astronauts, crash-landed in the steppes of Asia, join forces with the Mongol horde led by Genghis Khan. The two sides set out for Babylon, each determined to win the race for knowledge . . . and the power that lies within.

Yet the real power is beyond human control, perhaps even human understanding. As two great armies face off before the gates of Babylon, it watches, waiting. . . .

From the Hardcover edition.

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Sir Arthur C. Clarke may be the greatest science fiction writer in the world; certainly, he's the best-known, not least because he wrote the novel and coauthored the screenplay of 2001: A Space Odyssey. He's also the only SF writer to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize or to be knighted by Her Majesty Elizabeth II. This god of SF has twice collaborated with one of the best SF writers to emerge in the 1990s, Stephen Baxter, winner of the British SF Award, the Locus Award, and the Philip K. Dick Award. Their first collaboration is the novel The Light of Other Days. Their second is the novel Time's Eye: Book One of a Time Odyssey.

As the subtitle indicates, Time's Eye is the first book of a series intended to do for time what 2001 did for space. Does Time's Eye succeed in this goal? No. In 2001, humanity discovers a mysterious monolith on the moon, triggering a signal that astronauts pursue to one of the moons of Jupiter. In Time's Eye, mysterious satellites appear all around the Earth and scramble time, bringing together an ape-woman; twenty- first-century soldiers and astronauts; nineteenth-century British and Indian soldiers; and the armies of Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. The characters march around in search of other survivors, then clash in epic battle. It's not until the end that the novel returns to the mystery of the tiny, eye-like satellites (and doesn't solve it). In other words, the plot of Time's Eye is a nearly 300-page digression, and 2001 fans expecting exploration of the scientific enigma and examination of the meaning of existence will be disappointed. However, fans of rousing and well-written transtemporal adventure in the tradition of S.M. Stirling's novel Island in the Sea of Time will enjoy Time's Eye. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Clarke, with Baxter (Coalescent), probably the most talented of the former's several collaborators, have cooked up an exciting tale full of high-tech physics, military tactics and larger-than-life characters in the first of two novels related to the bestselling senior author's Space Odyssey series. In an awesome and unexplained catastrophe, the earth has been literally diced and put back together again. Each of the segments of terrain (and you can actually see the dividing lines between them) comes from a different era, some of them millions of years apart. As the novel opens, a 19th-century British army company, stationed on the Afghan-Pakistani border, captures an Australopithecine mother and child, just as a team of 21st-century U.N. peacekeepers crash their helicopter nearby. Later they join forces with Alexander the Great. Simultaneously, a Soyuz descent vehicle, having just left the International Space Station, crash-lands in the middle of Genghis Khan's army. Eventually, the armies of Alexander and the Khan converge on Babylon, the last remaining large city in Eurasia and a titanic battle seems imminent. Fans of 2001: A Space Odyssey will have fun with the many references to that earlier novel. Although not flawless, this is probably the best book to appear with Clarke's name on it in a decade.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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For thirty million years the planet had cooled and dried, until, in the north, ice sheets gouged at the continents. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WHERES THE BEEF March 5 2004
Shame on you Clarke for making us wade through 300 pages of fluff
,wheres the beef?....A good read but a big disappointment story wise..I am giving you and your publishing company 1 star for making avid readers like myself and others shell out $18 bucks for a novel that doesnt give you the meat until the last 10 pages and then pick ups in the next book..This predatory practice will make me start going to the local library for a free read, or use unsaviory practices to get a fee copy..You guys support us ,,,we will support you...Next time lets skip the appetizer and shoot for the entre
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the series Dec 9 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
*Warning this review may contain spoilers*
I really enjoyed this book. In fact when I started it, I couldn't put it down! I had read Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series, and this book had similar elements. Namely the idea of a powerful alien race manipulating humanity and they were even given the exact name as the aliens who controlled the monolith in 3001-Space Odyssey "The Firstborn". I have read the whole series and this is by far my favorite book. It really made you put yourself in the shoes of the characters and think about how if such a thing were to happen to you, what skills and worth would you bring to the table? It was imaginative and I really liked some of the characters and hated others. I think it's worth the read, even if the other books were disappointing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Mixup of Time May 2 2004
Time's Eye is the first novel in A Time Odyssey series. In the North-west Frontier between Pakistan and Afghanistan, four groups find themselves separated from their own times. Moreover, silvery globes fixed in mid air are scattered throughout the landscape, apparently observing local activity.
In this novel, a UN surveillance helicopter in 2037 is fired upon by a Pastun adolescent, damaging the tail rotor. The pilot, Casey Othic, breaks his leg in the emergency landing, but the co-pilot, Abdikadir Omar, and the observer, Biseasa Dutt, are not injured. All the fluttering and smoke attract the attention of nearby soldiers, who think the contraption is a Russian machine.
The soldiers are Tommies and sepoy troops from Jamrud, a fort in the English Raj of 1885. Included among them are two correspondents, the Anglo-Indian Ruddy and the American Josh White. They surround the smoking machine and order the occupants to surrender their weapons and exit the device. They have to help extricate Casey from the distorted frame.
A British patrol also finds a pair of "man-apes" wandering the plains. The mother and child look very much like chimpanzees, but they have longer legs and a truly upright posture. The helicopter crew decide that they are australopithecines from at least two million years in the past.
In low earth orbit, a Soyuz re-entry vehicle from 2037 is lost in time after launching from the International Space Station on a routine crew rotation. Musa, Kolya and Sable use their instruments to scan the planet, but can find only a few locations with signs of large populations. The capsule communications gear cannot detect any radio sources, but Sable uses a discarded amateur rig to locate two sources, one of which is the UN helicopter radio.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book and series Aug. 22 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is an incredibly well written and thought out book. It was impossible to put down, blending a mixture of science, history and speculative science fiction. The idea is beyond just imaginative. Arthur C Clarke and Stephen Baxter together are creative genius.

Time's Eye is a look into what would happen if there was a warp in time, where the survivors are thrust together in a world stitched together. As a result, what remains is a group of cosmonauts that was returning from the MIR space station; a crew from a reconnaissance helicopter mission; and a young man from a time long gone by in history. Thrown together in the glued together world that remains, each group must learn to survive in a world that is alien.

Worth reading, and when completed, impossible not to read the two that follow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book by Clarke in years Oct. 25 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is bloody brilliant. Yeah, it lags a bit in the middle, but not for long and a little perserverance will reward the reader. There are sections of writing in this book as good as anything that Clarke has EVER written. The final battle scene is amazing. My heart was pounding! Don't miss it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good enough to keep me interested... July 20 2004
I agree with the previous reviewer that indicated a good beginning, good end, but lacking in the middle. The beginning had me very intrigued by the mysterious events unfolding and the mix of characters, both historical and fictitious. However, the story & characters seem to drag a bit after that, with too much emphasis on historical data and detail. The very end does pick up in excitement, as we finally get some clue as to the nature & purpose of the hovering spheres/eyes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's Clarke, trust him... July 19 2004
I will confess I've never read anything by Stephen Baxter. Then again, I'd never read anything by Gentry Lee when I sat down to read the Rama series. On the other hand, if Clarke writes something I will, eventually, read it.
Time's Eye is a solid book. I enjoyed reading it and couldn't help but muse over what the second installment would bring. Although some of the character development is less than might be expected, the less developed personalities tend to be a means to an end as opposed to someone the reader should be investing time understanding their motivation.
The story is quick paced and somewhat more introductory than a stand-alone Clarke book.
A love of history is helpful when reading Time's Eye, since a good portion of the characters have been dead for several centuries. The exploits of Alexander the Great and Ghengis Khan through the eyes of twenty-first and eighteenth century charcters was the most intriguing part of the story.
Those who come looking for a space adventure may be disappointed. There are a few scenes in space, but again, a means to and end and not a pivotal event.
In all, Time's Eye does not disapoint. After all it is Arthur C. Clarke, I think we can trust him by now.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars let somebody else pay new book prices
i love the idea of buying top quality used books. This book was like new and it was like 50 cents. Excellent service and speedy shipping. good work.
Published on Oct. 16 2011 by dozey
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to Clarke standards
I've been a huge Arthur C. Clarke fan for years, and also enjoy Stephen Baxter. However - this book begins as a thinly disguised attempt at promoting the author(s)' political... Read more
Published on July 4 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Time As An Onion
World wrecking is one of the most time-honored of genres in science fiction. In TIME'S EYE, Arthur C. Read more
Published on June 21 2004 by Martin Asiner
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Beginning...
Times Eye has some of the style of 2001, A Space Odyessy, but moves more slowly. It almost seems that these two great writers are having difficulty merging their styles. Read more
Published on June 12 2004 by Duane D. Garrett
4.0 out of 5 stars Seems as though some pages were lost....
I read books and see movies to be entertained, and so I'm pretty willing to forgive that which strains credibility or which has been seen or written before as long as it's... Read more
Published on May 14 2004 by Joe Wood
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting adventure
Just finished reading it and I found it very entertaining, an exciting and very readable book. It delves into the lives of characters of different time periods, many famous, who... Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by mitch
3.0 out of 5 stars What If?
Because of the many similarities of the premise of this book to 2001, many readers will pick the book up expecting something quite similar and stimulating in the same ways. Read more
Published on April 17 2004 by Donald Mitchell
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