After more than two hundred years as a corpsicle, Jaybee Corbell awoke in someone else’s body and under threat of instant annihilation if he made a wrong move while they were training him for a one-way mission to the stars.
But Corbell bided his time and made his own move. Once he was outbound, where the society that ruled Earth could not reach him, he headed his starship toward the galactic core, where the unimaginable energies of the universe wrenched the fabric of time and space and promised final escape from his captors.
Then he returned to an Earth eons older than the one he’d left, a planet that had had three million years to develop perils he had never dreamed of - perils that became nightmares that he had to escape... somehow.
Larry Niven is the multiple Hugo and Nebula award–winning author of the Ringworld series, as well as many other science fiction masterpieces. His Beowulf’s Children, coauthored with Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes, was a New York Times best seller. He lives in Chatsworth, California.
©1976 Larry Niven (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“This fantastic novel is a mix of Niven hard science and a time-travel concept to boggle the mind.…Even after the last line the feeling remains of the story still rushing on into the magic distance of the universe.” (A. E. van Vogt, winner of the SFWA Grand Master Award)
“Niven rams this fantastic tale at the reader with taut authority, mixing hard science with mind-boggling concepts of time and space to give us a whole new kind of trip.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Niven’s intoxicating concepts, ideas, scientific extrapolations, and exotic hardware bubble up from every page. Rich in imagination and astonishing in breadth…Will challenge the most sophisticated readers.” (Booklist)
Narrator was initially extremely monotone. perhaps that's the wrong word, it was binary. "soft soft hard soft hard". no emotion though, no intonation of the sentence being spoken. the narration improved over the course of the book, but it was still a stark contrast to the narration of ringworld and ringworld engineer.
This story starts very strong, an interesting turn of events that casts the main character abroad in space and time. unfortunately it only uses this idea as a spring board to get to the real story which is far more complex, but less coherent. an interesting world, which is explored only in passing while debating theories with less interesting results.
I liked the story overall, and the narrator does a good job of capturing the characters constant disgruntled demeanor. I just wish the ending was a bit stronger.
I will say first and foremost that this is my opinion. I enjoyed the story as it has a plotline very similar to the time machine but without all the back and forth. I enjoyed how the author detailed just enough of the scifi technologies without boring me to death with all the technicalities of it. The story really takes off but seems to reel back on itself a few times. Like the author wanted to explain some things and then doubled back to reiterate the timeline.
The plot unfolds fast and is quite predictable, but still not an unpleasant story telling.
Horrible recording quality
Sounds very digital
Narrator is terrible and irritating
What a waste, I like Niven but this was basically unlistenable, I want a refund
Listening to Audiobooks around the time Edison first put them on line ... or close to that time. ... Books on Tape 1974. Love Old Radio
Niven's plots are usually complex, but this becomes (for my feeble brain) to hard to follow, understand or enjoy in its many twists and turns over a huge block of time. Too many different human cultures to follow along with many, many fights, flights, foes and twists. Did I mention many?
Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.
This story is based around that idea of time dilation due to relativistic effects. If you are interested in fiction based on this concept, you might also try 'Tau Zero' by Poul Anderson. For those not familiar with this, the idea is that you could effectively time-travel forward by approaching the speed of light, causing your time to pass more slowly, for you, than normal.
Niven's story was entertaining, but felt logically inconsistent to me. There were no major flaws - just things that weren't explained or didn't feel probable. Worth the credit. Weiner's narration was well done, but short of impressive. Hence the four stars.
The journey of several lives, an implausible situation, ridiculous over the top characters, but I still really enjoyed it. The state has all the makings of a catastrophic future.
And Buffalo George
A fantastic theme: time traveler is pressed into service by the "state" and shifted 3 million years into the future to find an alien civilization. Larry Niven has a strange mind and his view of the "future", engaging. The science is fun and the characters are fleshed out well enough to understand. However, there's really a couple of books/plots in this one. Either one would make a good Star Trek episode.
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