Like his very funny werewolf send-up, Ursula's Gift , DiSilvestro's latest tests the limits of a genre while more or less respecting its conventions. A newly paralyzed, power-mad millionaire named Ritz wants to go back in time to recover the functions of his own body. He blackmails save-the-whales nice-guy/rich layabout Jackson Black (who has a photographic memory and hence can smuggle sensitive plans and documents in his head) into helping him search for a UFO reported downed in South America. Having found a working machine, Ritz and his henchmen steal it and take off into the past, leaving Black and the spaceship's rightful driver, Tyler Blake of the 21st century, stranded. They call the Time Police, who have been monitoring the 20th century, and set off in search of love, adventure and Ritz, who has already begun to alter history in megalomaniacal fashion. DiSilvestro toys and experiments with the discovery of America, Alfred the Great's conquest of Britain and some of the social and ecological possibilities of turning back time; he posits Rheingold's Perturbation Theory, which addresses meeting oneself in the past, and paints a truly awful picture of Earth's 21st-century future. Intelligent, thoughtful and amusing, this would have given H. G. Wells a run for his money. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990 Release date: 07/01/1990 Genre: Fiction
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