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Timemaster Hardcover – Jun 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Tor Books (Hc) (June 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312852142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312852146
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,046,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Set in 2036, this latest hard - science novel by Forward ( Dragon's Egg ) deals with fringe physics and explores the exciting possibilities of relativity and quantum mechanics. Unfortunately, the author's characters and plot exist only as a pretext for his numerous, inventive gadgets and tricks. Protagonist Randy Hunter's astroengineering firm discovers a lifeform dubbed "Silverhair," which contains negative matter rather than antimatter. By carefully engineering the Silverhair, Hunter and his associates develop a method of building starships that reach near-light speeds. Negative and positive matter are also used to produce gravity-balanced black hole masses, artificial wormholes, means of instantaneous travel, and, eventually, time travel. The scientific speculation is fascinating, well-researched and believable, but the heroes are cardboard, the villain a paper tiger, the plot a wish-fulfillment fluff of cotten candy. Although this book exhibits great potential, it is not up to Forward's standard and will disappoint fans.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The latest novel by the author of The Dragon's Egg (1983) tells the life story of remarkable billionaire business mogul Randy Hunter. Hunter excels in everything he does, from choosing a wife to pioneering the latest technologies--including the discovery of an alien life form that can facilitate instantaneous travel through space and time. Forward is one of sf's most imaginative and playful writers, wreaking cheerful havoc with temporal paradoxes in a story that owes a considerable debt to Robert Heinlein's Lazarus Long novels. Unfortunately, the lack of immediacy and suspense makes this otherwise ingenious story a marginal selection for libraries.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ceacda4) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cf0fae0) out of 5 stars One of Robert Forward's Best. . . Oct. 2 2003
By David Zampino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This reviewer has noted time and time again, that Dr. Forward's novels excel in "hard science" but not so much in depth of character or development of plot. In "Timemaster" we still have the outstanding science -- with enough of an improvement in character and plot to satisfy most Sci-Fi fans.
When dealing with his "neg matter" plants -- and the opportunities such creatures would provide for relatively intstaneous space and time travel, Forward continues to fill his books with life forms radically different from anything we have (or can really imagine) on Earth -- and make them believable.
This one is a good read. I highly recommend it.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Unused Account - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a fan of sci-fi books, having read everything from Asimov to Zelany. I was hopefully this would be a good book considing what others have said about it. To put it bluntly, this book stinks.
The hero is absolutely perfect, achieves everything and wins the girl. This may be an acceptable character to a target audience of 12 yr olds (see Johnny Quest or Asimov's Lucky Starr series) but just proves annoying to anyone beyond a middle school level education. Every other character proves to be just as badly developed as this. The science may be real and plausible but nothing else about this book is.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cf0ff6c) out of 5 stars Disappointing May 4 2014
By starduster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Thought we might meet very interesting aliens and travel to other planets and galaxies with very interesting life forms possibly some much more advanced and enlightened then ours. Instead a book about a shallow character and last part of book is rehashing a plot device that we already know the outcome of. Character can leave his wife and kids for many years and somehow the kids are still bonded to him. No way!

Not a great story, wasted opportunities and wanted and hoped for so much more than how a smart guy can thwart an enemy, make himself jealous of himself. The book and space travels should be so much more interesting, but were fairly boring much of the time.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cc86348) out of 5 stars One of my favorite books Aug. 20 2001
By G. Ralph Kuntz, MD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read several of Dr. Forward's books, and this is, by far, my favorite---I read it twice and am considering a third reading. Dr. Forward writes "hard" science fiction, and Timemaster is no exception, sticking closely with the known laws of physics. The concepts presented in this book are intriguing and Mr. Hunter's solution to the problem of his nemesis in a delightful surprise. Highly recommended!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cc8642c) out of 5 stars Forward's worst Aug. 11 2009
By Andrew X. Lias - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I like most of Forward's books. To this day, I'll often bring Dragon's Egg and Roche World down from the shelves to give them another glance or two.

Sadly, this is the least of his work. The protagonist is a shallow bit of more-than-obvious wish fulfillment. This is a character that starts off by saying that his goal is to become the wealthiest person in the universe and to live forever. Mind you, this is a person who already starts out as a billionaire, so we're not exactly talking about some sort of Heinleinian competent man who pulls himself up by his bootstraps. This is a man born with a silver spoon in his mouth who's only ambition is to replace it with a platinum one.

This is compounded by the fact that the central plot device that drives him towards his mastery of space and time (seriously, these descriptions of him are actual chapter headings!) is the accidental discovery of an alien life form that excretes matter with negative mass.

The book is best when Forward takes time to consider the implications of negative mass, although I'm hesitant to call it hard science-fiction given that Forward is basically postulating a blatant violation of known physics and then methodically working his way through what such a violation would imply. It's a clever sort of logical game, but it veers away from his normal standard of sticking with known and reasonably extrapolations of physics and taking them to their logical conclusions.

Along the way, we get swipes at all sorts of things that we can infer that Forward hates, including and especially (remarkably enough) animal rights activism. His antagonists are nothing than a bunch of bleating straw men whose only function is to be repeatedly knocked down by the neigh god-like hero of the story.

The overall effect is a story that seems petty, self-indulgent with a weak-as-water plot.

As I said, Forward has written some remarkable stories, but this is not one of them. Every author has a worst book and this one is it.


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