The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I just had to do a little retro SF catch-up, grabbing those old classics by big-name SF authors that I haven't yet had the pleasure to read, and this one kept cropping up as one of the best of the best by Asimov.
You know, OTHER than Foundation and the Robot novels. Of which, a few are sub-par. We'll ignore all of these for now and focus on this standalone.
About time travel in a kettle, kinda like Wells' time machine, only let's make a society of men, only men, living outside of time a-la Time Lords and have our MC be a pre-Doctor kind of character who's ACTUALLY willing to fall in love with a girl and is willing to DESTROY this little bubble of Eternity for her sake.
You know, because a society of nothing but men will obviously think with nothing more than the spout of their kettles.
And don't get me started on this 50's assumption that only men can do the work, but because even Asimov recognized all that and turned her into a femme fatale and made the girls more badass than the boys. So we learn. LATER. :) So let's move on from there.
This is basically Doctor Who on steroids and less buddy-buddy unique eras and a hardcore dive into escaping a whole society of time travelers who meddle with the past to erase the really bad stuff, fixing whole timelines on massive scales over vast time periods... ALL FOR THE SAKE OF TIPPING HIS TEAKETTLE.
Oh, and he decides it's okay to destroy all the Time Lords. Ahem. Sorry. Eternals.
What could have been a relatively average and not bad at all novel right HERE is then given the full Asimov twist and he turns it into a full adventure with deeper and deeper intrigue, reversals, surprises, reveals, and mystery. Not bad, Asimov. And then he even goes for the short-story twist at the end and makes us re-evaluate EVERYTHING that has happened before in a new light.
NOT BAD AT ALL.
So if you can get over the naming conventions and the cardboard cutout characters and the whole psychosexual mess, I can ABSOLUTELY PROMISE YOU that there's a very fine and fun novel in here. :) Worthy of anything we've got today and somewhat more ambitious, even with the length, than most of the same.
I'm very glad to have read this. :)
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