Threshold of Eternity

John Brunner and Damien Broderick. Phoenix Pick, $14.99 trade paper (236p) ISBN 978-1-61242-369-2
Broderick (Time Considered as a Series of Thermite Burns in No Particular Order) attempts to update an early novel by the late, great Brunner (1934–1995, author of Stand on Zanzibar) in this uneven story of interstellar war and time travel. Brunner’s novel was originally serialized in New Worlds magazine in 1957, when the author was 23 year old. Even after a face-lift, the novel reveals its pre–new wave origins with thin characters, awkward dialogue, and unabashed pulp action. In the 41st century, human colonists are under attack by “the Enemy,” genocidal alien villains. “With a body full of seething youthful juices,” 25-year-old Artesha Wong leads the local planetary defenses, first as a human, later as a machine-based intelligence. Meanwhile, unpredictable time surges—possibly caused by a mysterious alien called the Being—are unleashing chaos throughout history. Korean War vet “Red” Hawkins and Chantal Vareze, a French doctor from 2037, join Artesha in the fight. Short chapters keep the action rocketing along. Broderick’s rewrite highlights Brunner’s early promise as a writer synonymous with big ideas and the culture shock of political, technological, and social change. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/20/2017
Release date: 11/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
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