Time's Eye (A Time Odyssey, #1)

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9780007138463: Time's Eye (A Time Odyssey, #1)

For eons, Earth has been under observation by the Firstborn, beings almost as old as the universe itself. The Firstborn are unknown to humankind--until they act. In an instant, Earth's timeline is carved up and reassembled into a patchwork of different eras, from prehistory to the year 2037, each with its own indigenous inhabitants.

The only clue to the origin of this astonishing transformation lies in the ancient city of Babylon, where two groups of refugees from 2037--three cosmonauts and three U.N. peacekeepers--have detected strange radio signals. As the peacekeepers ally with nineteenth-century British troops and the armies of Alexander the Great, the cosmonauts join forces with the Mongol horde led by Genghis Khan. Both sides set out for Babylon, determined to win the race for knowledge--and the power that lies within.

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Sir Arthur C. Clarke may be the greatest science fiction writer in the world; certainly, he's the best-known, not least because he wrote the novel and coauthored the screenplay of 2001: A Space Odyssey. He's also the only SF writer to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize or to be knighted by Her Majesty Elizabeth II. This god of SF has twice collaborated with one of the best SF writers to emerge in the 1990s, Stephen Baxter, winner of the British SF Award, the Locus Award, and the Philip K. Dick Award. Their first collaboration is the novel The Light of Other Days. Their second is the novel Time's Eye: Book One of a Time Odyssey.

As the subtitle indicates, Time's Eye is the first book of a series intended to do for time what 2001 did for space. Does Time's Eye succeed in this goal? No. In 2001, humanity discovers a mysterious monolith on the moon, triggering a signal that astronauts pursue to one of the moons of Jupiter. In Time's Eye, mysterious satellites appear all around the Earth and scramble time, bringing together an ape-woman; twenty- first-century soldiers and astronauts; nineteenth-century British and Indian soldiers; and the armies of Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. The characters march around in search of other survivors, then clash in epic battle. It's not until the end that the novel returns to the mystery of the tiny, eye-like satellites (and doesn't solve it). In other words, the plot of Time's Eye is a nearly 300-page digression, and 2001 fans expecting exploration of the scientific enigma and examination of the meaning of existence will be disappointed. However, fans of rousing and well-written transtemporal adventure in the tradition of S.M. Stirling's novel Island in the Sea of Time will enjoy Time's Eye. --Cynthia Ward

From the Inside Flap:

Sir Arthur C. Clarke is a living legend, a writer whose name has been synonymous with science fiction for more than fifty years. An indomitable believer in human and scientific potential, Clarke is a genuine visionary. If Clarke has an heir among today's science fiction writers, it is award-winning author Stephen Baxter. In each of his acclaimed novels, Baxter has demonstrated dazzling gifts of imagination and intellect, along with a rare ability to bring the most cerebral science dramatically to life. Now these two champions of humanism and scientific speculation have combined their talents in a novel sure to be one of the most talked-about of the year, a "2001 for the new millennium. TIME'S EYEFor eons, Earth has been under observation by the Firstborn, beings almost as old as the universe itself. The Firstborn are unknown to humankind-- until they act. In an instant, Earth is carved up and reassembled like a huge jigsaw puzzle. Suddenly the planet and every living thing on it no longer exist in a single timeline. Instead, the world becomes a patchwork of eras, from prehistory to 2037, each with its own indigenous inhabitants.Scattered across the planet are floating silver orbs impervious to all weapons and impossible to communicate with. Are these technologically advanced devices responsible for creating and sustaining the rifts in time? Are they cameras through which inscrutable alien eyes are watching? Or are they something stranger and more terrifying still?The answer may lie in the ancient city of Babylon, where two groups of refugees from 2037--three cosmonauts returning to Earth from the International Space Station, and three United Nations peacekeepers on a mission inAfghanistan--have detected radio signals: the only such signals on the planet, apart from their own. The peacekeepers find allies in nineteenth-century British troops and in the armies of Alexander the Great. The astronauts, crash-landed in the steppes of Asia, join forces with the Mongol horde led by Genghis Khan. The two sides set out for Babylon, each determined to win the race for knowledge . . . and the power that lies within.Yet the real power is beyond human control, perhaps even human understanding. As two great armies face off before the gates of Babylon, it watches, waiting. . . .

"From the Hardcover edition.

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