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Time Storm
Time Storm
Author: Gordon R. Dickson
ISBN: 3954

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Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Time Storm on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I found this 70's science fiction tale among the crowded stacks of of my favorite used book

store. It's theme of mass disappearance of humans due to a disruptions of time interesting, so I

grabbed it thinking it would be nice light reading. Well, it's far from light. Here Dickson

takes us on a 70's head trip of physics and philosophy. Ther first half of the book is a strong

Post Apocalytic tale of a man, a teenage girl and a leopard traveling through a broken,

disjointed land where Time Storms have switched large chucks or land with land of the past and

the future, and where traveling Mistwalls threaten to displace the travelers themselves. The

second part of the book is hard science fiction where the main character battles the very

physical forces of nature which are causing these problems. In the end this book is a tale of

love, and finding what's inside a person by stepping out of their own body, and their comfort

zones and looking at things in a way one would never conceived.

Gordon Dickson's "Time Storm", first published in 1977, is an excellent post-apocalyptic novel

concerning the catastrophic after effects caused by on-going time storms (or time lines that

appear as, and are called in the book, `mistwalls') that continually sweep across sections of

the Earth, as well as throughout the universe. As a time storm passes, a large swath of land

becomes forever changed in time. A side effect is that for most of the population these time

sweeps are deadly.

Luckily (or you would have no story), a small percentage of the population (including a few

animals) seem immuned to the deadly effects of the time storms. The three main characters; the

protagonist (Marc Despard), a young teenage girl (known as `Girl'), and a leopard (called

Sunday), are all richly defined. Those who have read "Wolf and Iron", another good

post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel by Dickson (published thirteen years after "Time Storm"), may see

a pattern here (a leopard instead of a wolf, the protagonist searching for his ex-wife instead

of his brother, and a young teenage girl whose personality is remarkably similar to the teenager

in "Wolf and Iron"). However, that's where the similarities end.

This story begins with the three unlikely partners traveling across country where they cross

area after area that has been changed in time. The people (and/or creatures) that have been

`deposited' into the effected areas (if there are anyone at all), are either from some point in

the future or from the past, but like any post-apocalyptic story, few are friendly. Even the

survivors of his own time can be, and usually are, extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, a couple

of the time-changed situations the group run into aren't treated very deeply by Dickson, thus

leaving this reader a little confused and wondering why he mentioned them at all.

However, the heart of the story is the Despard's single-minded goal of understanding the time

storms, and maybe even doing something about them. He is sort of a freak of nature, being almost

a human calculator whose mind will not stop until a problem is solved. And because of this, he

is also a man that has extreme difficulty with his emotions toward others, especially those he

loves. And whether he likes it or not, his small, motly band soon grows to a community, and the

cast of characters are handled quite well. These are not stilted, cardboard characters by any

means. Dickson did a wonderful job creating believable characters.

Dickson also does a masterful job involving the reader in Despard's attempts to expand his mind

and search out the patterns of the time storms so he may understand them. This becomes almost

mystical in nature and leads him to reach out to the stars and beyond. I found this particularly

fascinating and was quickly drawn into this strange world of the mind, space, and time. There is

also the standard (but interesting) sub-plot concerning the "Empress" who wants to control what

little is left of the world. And ever present is Depard's inner conflict with people, any

people, especially the `Girl', creating and heightening the tension for the reader.

"Time Storm" is one of my favorite reads in this sub-genre (actually two sub-genres; time and

post-apocalyptic). If you like either of these sub-genres, I think you will really enjoy "Time

Storm". I consider it a "page-turner".
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reviewed Time Storm on + 3 more book reviews
Story about a Small group of people trying to cope with and repair changes in time that keep sweeping across the earth.
reviewed Time Storm on + 7 more book reviews
Interesting older book where time goes crazy, and the earth is covered with areas from the past, and future, and how a group of survivors cope with it.
reviewed Time Storm on + 120 more book reviews
The time storm has devastated the Earth. In the rubble 3 survivors search for a clue to the nature of the storm, not guessing it threatens not just Earth, but the entire universe bringing an end to all space and time.
reviewed Time Storm on + 11 more book reviews
reviewed Time Storm on + 28 more book reviews
Published in 1977.

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