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CHRONOSPACE

Allen Steele, Author
Allen Steele, Author . Ace $22.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-441-00832-2
Reviewed on: 04/30/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-101-20801-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages - 978-0-441-00906-0
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-7865-2324-5
Ebook - 978-0-7865-3415-9
Ebook - 978-0-7865-3390-9
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Clearly written to please his fans and the editors of the science fiction magazines he frequently publishes in, this alternate-world novel by Steele (Oceanspace) panders (by excessive namedropping), without producing stellar results. In the 1998 of our world, David Zachary Murphy, a physicist with NASA who longs to be a professional writer of speculative fiction and see his name featured on SF magazine covers, writes a nonfiction article about the possibility that UFOs are time-travel machines. This story achieves every writer's dream—it changes the future of the world. Especially the future for Franc and Lea, time travelers from the year 2314. When Franc and Lea go back to 1937 to observe the crash of the Hindenberg, their participation in the disaster somehow destroys their world and its time line. They are bounced into an alternate time line, in which Murphy and his postulations are a nexus. Franc and Lea's heavy-handed attempts to fix things (including impersonating one of Murphy's idols, real-life SF writer Gregory Benford) only make the situation worse. Meanwhile, mysterious "angels" are observing mankind, using their own extraterrestrial powers to try to stop the paradoxes caused by humanity's use of time travel before humans can infest the galaxy with their follies. Derivative and cloying, this isn't up to the level of Steele's short stories, which do grace the pages of many of the magazines he reverentially mentions throughout this novel. (May 8)

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