Guardians of Time Paperback – Jun 2 1972
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|Paperback, Jun 2 1972||
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Top Customer Reviews
The four short stories in this book are construed over the same premise and using the same lead character. The chosen events are: (i) The british isles in the XIX and V centuries; (ii)Greece in the III century B.C; (iii) California in the XIII century and finally, (iv) Rome during the Punic Wars.
Its obvious that these periods were choosen by the author out of his personal preference, but not because the felt that they were particularly important on the overall development of known events.
This is not a particulary interesting science fiction novel to have unless you are a hard die fan of Mr. Anderson.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There are some excellent stories in this collection. "Brave To Be A King" is my particular favorite. In this story a time traveller is marooned in ancient Persia in the time of Cyrus the Great and becomes "enmeshed in the local gears." In fact, he becomes Cyrus! But despite being a King, he desperately wants to go home! This is a wonderful story with a gritty realism. Highly recommended.
The only downside to this collection is that you cannot appreciate it one story at a time, because to fully grasp each story you must understand the underlying "Time Patrol" premise. But Anderson takes care of that deftly, because the first story in the collection deals with the recruitment of a 1950s American into the Time Patrol. Not only is this a ripping good story, it does a good job of setting the reader up for the other stories in this collection and in the series. If you like this book, you'll also want to read Anderson's other Time Patrol collections, including "The Time Patrol" and "The Shield of Time."
These stories are enjoyable enough, really, as the Patrol struggles to do the right thing and have lives.
Guardians of Time : Time Patrol [Manse Everard (Time Patrol)] - Poul Anderson
Guardians of Time : Brave to Be a King [Manse Everard (Time Patrol)] - Poul Anderson
Guardians of Time : Gibraltar Falls [Manse Everard (Time Patrol)] - Poul Anderson
Guardians of Time : The Only Game in Town [Manse Everard (Time Patrol)] - Poul Anderson
Guardians of Time : Delenda Est [Manse Everard (Time Patrol)] - Poul Anderson
Recruiting of a time agent.
4 out of 5
Manse and Cynthia ponder time off, but there is still Patrol work to be done.
3.5 out of 5
Lots of water and interfering.
3 out of 5
Sandoval has to co-opt an Unattached for a mission, and guess who?
3 out of 5
20,000 years back for skiing and winding down for Patrol agents, particularly when a bit grumpy with the super overlords.
3.5 out of 5
Anderson makes the background of his stories totally convincing. Yes, we say. If there _was_ time travel and there _was_ a Time Patrol, this is how it would operate. And if there _were_ time agents, this is how they would act. This is what they would do. These are the sorts of things that could go wrong. These are some of the things that could be set right. But as Anderson notes, the patroling of history frequently comes with a price to pay.
"Time Patrol" gives an account of Everard's recruitment and first assignment up and down the timeline in England-- which he does not complete altogether successfully. In the second story, an old flame wants Everard to search for her husband who has disappeared in ancient Iran. Everard successfully completes his mission... but there is a final, wry twist at the end. The third tale involves the use of time twisting and high stakes among those early American explorers-- the Mongolian barbarians. The final tale involes Everard's friendship with a happy-go-lucky Venusian agent. It opens in a hunting lodge for mammoths in the Ice Age. In it Everard makes the observation that modern New York City is more decadent than ancient Rome. All are solid tales, but I especially enjoyed the first and the last ones.
Later writers have emphasized the iconoclastic nature of time travel. Anderson, writing in the fifties and early sixties, sees history as more solid and less easily maleable. But not unchangeable. Hence the Time Patrol, perhaps self-serving at times, but necessary to fend off the forces of chaos. _Guardians of Time_ is a small classic. If you can, get the edition with the Richard Powers cover.