"[A] well-rendered hero and ... a maddeningly provocative ending."
"Allen meets his usual high standard in this far-future combination of speculative hard science, social SF, and pure adventure."
"Mind-boggling ideas spice up an absorbing puzzle."
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Star Wars® books by Roger MacBride Allen:
The Corellian Trilogy Ambush at Corellia Assault at Selonia Showdown at Centerpoint Available wherever Bantam Books are sold
In an era when time travel is essential to interstellar transport, keeping the past from learning the future is the Chronologic Patrol's prime directive. Anton Koffield, captain of the Upholder, one of two Patrol ships protecting the Circum Central timeshaft wormhole, becomes the first person ever to act to preserve causality. Incomprehensible Intruders destroy Koffield's sister ship and cripple his own as they battle through the time shaft the wrong way, from "downtime" (the past) to "uptime." As a fleet of cargo ships heading toward a failing terraformed planet approaches Circum Central for safe passage, the Intruders return, and Koffield collapses the timeshaft to prevent them from returning to the past. The cargo ships are destroyed, the planet never receives its relief supplies and Koffield is stranded in the future with his crew, who have fingered him as the murderer of a world. Forced into isolation by the Patrol, which simultaneously hails him as a hero, Koffield stumbles upon proof that all of humanity's terraformed worlds are doomed to catastrophe. He must overcome his villainous status, pervasive guilt and a second time-stranding to convince others of the danger, even as he uncovers mysteries yet more profound, and a megalomaniac's master plan. With its well-rendered hero and supporting cast, Allen's (The Game of Worlds) latest resists slipping into melodrama. The thoroughly practical use of time travel coupled with visceral evocations of the logical complications of becoming lost in one's own future ground the novel scientifically and emotionally. Slyly, Allen wraps up his story with a maddeningly provocative ending that all but ensures a sequel and another meeting with the intriguing Koffield. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This title transports the reader to a galaxy in A.D. 5211 that is filled with populated terraformed worlds accessible via timeshaft wormholes. Advanced cryogenics and wormholes enable ships to time travel through vast reaches of space, ferrying people and essential supplies to the new worlds. Chronologic Patrol ships protect the timeshafts to prevent time paradoxes, ensuring that nothing from the future can derange the past. Captain Anton Koffield's ship Upholder defends the Circum Central timeshaft, which allows access to the terraformed planets, Glistern and Solace. When mysterious intruders attack the timeshaft, Koffield must destroy it, thus assuring Glistern's demise. A strong, disciplined, moral man, Koffield is subsequently reviled for doing his duty. Many years later, Koffield envisions his redemption when given the chance to deliver crucial information to Solace. He and the crew of the Dom Pedro IV suffer horrendous awakenings from cryosleep, only to find that their ship has been sabotaged, causing them to arrive on Solace 127 years later than planned. Solace is a troubled planet, plagued by environmental catastrophes and civil unrest. Behind the scenes is the enigmatic genius--or madman--Oskar DeSilvo, architect and terraformist. Through advanced medical technology and temporal confinement, DeSilvo has managed to live for centuries to oversee the creation of new worlds. This title is a masterfully told, intricate, plot-driven blend of science fiction and adventure. Allen successfully juggles several plot lines and numerous characters to create a novel sure to please more mature science fiction fans. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasionallapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2000, Bantam, Ages 16 to Adult, 464p, $13.95 Trade pb. Reviewer: Rachelle Bilz
In the far future, faster-than-light travel is still impossible, but the discovery of wormholes has made it feasible to travel vast distances in just a short time by taking a detour through the future. But since tampering with the past could cause unimaginable catastrophe, the Chronologic Patrol controls the wormholes and has orders to do anything, up to and including destroying a wormhole, in order to protect causality. When mysterious invaders from the past try to force their way through a wormhole, Captain Anton Koffield must do just that, in the process destroying three friendly ships, dooming an entire planet, and stranding himself and his crew 80 years in the future. Despised by an entire galaxy, he takes on an obscure research project that keeps him away from humanity. and finds himself stranded once more 127 years further into the future, traveling in a ship that was subtly sabotaged, prevented from presenting evidence that will doom another planet, and possibly the entire human race as well. After three pages of setup, this book takes off like a shot and the tension never lets up. Mystery piles on mystery, and the suspense keeps the reader turning pages all night. What is unusual about the book is that the engine driving all this suspense is an intellectual puzzle, albeit one that will directly affect the lives of millions. The book ends with the puzzle solved but many mysteries remaining, and the salvation of humanity far from assured, making the reader hope for a sequel or two. Well-written, well paced, well done in every way, this belongs in all SF collections. KLIATT Codes: SARecommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000,Bantam/Spectra, 448p, 22cm, $13.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Deirdre B. Root; Ref. Libn., Middletown P.L., Middletown, OH, September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
Allen has never failed to entertain me with his novels, and this is no exception. His constructed universe is complex but convincing, and the plot moves along so quickly that I was halfway through the book almost before I noticed.
Science Fiction Chronicle