Time's Eye Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 2005
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
,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
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.
Typical of such world wrecking stories, Clarke and Baxter use a multiple point of view. The tale begins with an early australopithecine hominid female and her child both of whom are snatched out of some impossibly long ago prehistory and planted in the middle of a 19th century Afghanistan fortress manned by British soldiers. Other transplanted time kidnap victims appear in quick succession: a Russian orbiting Soyez space station from 2037, a British/American helicopter crew from the same time, and the combined armies of Alexander the Great clashing with the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan.
Clarke and Baxter do not offer their characters as fish out of water. Rather, they posit them as rational and intelligent beings who quickly grasp the "how" of their plight even if they do not know the "why." As the various characters interact with one another, they maintain their basic motivation as they try first to adjust to their situation, then to force this new world to adjust to them.Read more ›
I do have some issues with it, however. Ironically - or perhaps appropriately - it would seem as though paragraphs, pages, and perhaps even entire chapters were lost on their way to the printer. For example, at the top of page 183 [hardcover first printing], there's talk of leaving markers for another party, but there seems to be knowledge about that party - in particular, someone no longer being a part of it - that, as far as I remember, isn't something that should be known. Was there a paragraph somewhere in which the two parties communicated? If so, I must have missed it.
Also, while some of the character development is very well executed, other characters - in particular Sable, one of the cosmonauts - are given large parts without much development or motivation for their actions. While I understand that not all characters can be fully developed, I'd at least like a decent explanation for why major characters might do seemingly extreme things that would appear to be out of (expected) character.
Finally, the final meeting of the armies (mentioned on the cover, so no extra spoiler here) is very well discussed, with lots of detail, up until... the end. As in, "um, is it over now?". Seems like another chapter was left out here.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
*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. Read more
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
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. Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2010 by C. Davison
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. Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2007 by Diane
I agree with the previous reviewer that indicated a good beginning, good end, but lacking in the middle. Read morePublished on July 19 2004
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 morePublished on July 4 2004
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 morePublished on June 12 2004 by Duane D. Garrett
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. Read morePublished on May 2 2004 by Arthur W Jordin
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 morePublished on April 21 2004 by mitch