Time, Like an Ever-Rolling Stream: A Sequel to the Ragged World

Judith Moffett, Author
Judith Moffett, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (328p) ISBN 978-0-312-08323-6
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-38275-7
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Early in the 21st century, the Hefn--an alien race who are the slaves of the unseen Gafr--have taken over Earth in order to save it. Prohibiting pollution, they have also forbidden humans to procreate until the population stabilizes. (Moffett set all this up in The Ragged World .) Here, a Hefn named Humphrey has formed the Bureau of Temporal Physics, where nine teenage math prodigies work on Hefn time-travel apparatus; two of them, Liam O'Hara and Pam Pruitt, are the focus of this double-layered story. Pam, at age 26, has written about her life at 14 and has sent a copy of the manuscript to Liam, whose comments appear at the end of each chapter. The chronicle tells of Pam and Liam's vacation from the BTP as teenagers to Hurt Hollow, a back-to-nature farm in Indiana whose residents live off the land without any modern conveniences. Human hostility toward the ``benign dictators'' comes to a head in a dramatic confrontation involving Humphrey, Liam and Pam and a fundamentalist preacher who believes the Hefn are the Antichrist. Intriguing for its then-and-now structure, this is also an engrossing character study of two teenagers. (Sept.)
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