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End Of An Era Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1994
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About the Author
Robert J. Sawyer has been called “the dean of Canadian science fiction” by The Ottawa Citizen.
He is one of only seven writers in history—and the only Canadian—to win all three of the world’s top awards for best science-fiction novel of the year: the Hugo (which he won in 2003 for Hominids), the Nebula (which he won in 1995 for The Terminal Experiment), and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (which he won in 2005 for Mindscan).
In total, Rob has authored over 18 science-fiction novels and won forty-one national and international awards for his fiction, including a record-setting ten Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards (“Auroras”) and the Toronto Public Library Celebrates Reading Award, one of Canada’s most significant literary honors. In 2008, he received his tenth Hugo Award nomination for his novel Rollback.
His novels have been translated into 14 languages. They are top-ten national mainstream bestsellers in Canada and have hit number one on the Locus bestsellers’ list.
Born in Ottawa in 1960, Rob grew up in Toronto and now lives in Mississauga (just west of Toronto), with poet Carolyn Clink, his wife of twenty-four years.
He was the first science-fiction writer to have a website, and that site now contains more than one million words of material.
- Publisher : Ace; First Print edition (November 1, 1994)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 0441001149
- ISBN-13 : 978-0441001149
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 7 x 1 x 5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,380,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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The story starts with the scientific superpower of Canada sending two paleontologists back to the age of the dinosaurs on a cut-rate scientific mission to answer the question of why the dinosaurs went extinct. Our viewpoint character is "Brandy" and his best friend "Klicks." Although they were life-long friends, things have become tense because Klicks swooped in on Brandy's ex-wife after his divorce. Things are stressful, but these are the two who sent back via the Huang Effect.
They arrive in the Mesozoic and discover three improbable things: There is a second moon in the sky, Earth gravity is one-third of normal, and blue, gelatinous aliens are using dinosaurs as hosts.
I think it was the last part that made me weigh the "hurl/not hurl" issue.
On the other hand, the whole thing is so goofily light-hearted, and it was going down so smoothly, that I gave it a shot.
I'm not going to spoil the book. It delivers on all of its improbable premises, which is a surprise and kind of a virtue compared to a lot of books.
Read it as a lark. It's enjoyable, digestible and calorie-free.
Of course the resulting tensions between the two create a ripe atmosphere of humor as well as regret and some jealousy and shame, as they both discover the world of the Cretaceous Era. Turns out there are aliens! And they're naturally viral, taking over dinosaurs for their own.
And the Earth's gravity is lighter - we find out why. And the true intentions of these Hets is kept quiet - and we find out how. Brandy and Klicks are unsure how to proceed. Should they take the risk and bring them back to their own time, since this race is currently extinct? Or continue their research into what killed the dinosaurs?
Sawyer argues well with lots of science words and technology bandied about, about the lack of funding in research, the strain of relationships that creating a career which takes you miles from your wife for extended periods of time (though 60 million is a bit much), and the lack of evidence that one single asteroid did wipe out the dinosaurs.
Actually we do find out what actually killed them off. It's fictitious, a lot of fun and suspenseful.
Also plenty of flashbacks are used as a device to get into Brandy's head. We even get entertained by an alternate time line, where the "now" Brandy discovers the "time travelling Brandy's" diary on a computer. The book is a bit fuzzy how that happened.
Overall, an entertaining read, could not put it down. Recommended.
Most SF books have two or three innovative ideas. Rob's is full of them. For END OF AN ERA (the first book the wrote, but the second published) it's sort of like THE TIME MACHINE meets WAR OF THE WORLDS. How he can weave as many creative concepts together, while still giving a strong sense of character and plot, is amazing to me.
The basic plot is about 2 paleontologists who go back in time, through a very intriguing process called the "Huang Effect," in an effort to learn what caused the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. They land, discovering all sorts of unexpected things... gravity is less, the Earth has 2 moons, and ... aliens are on the planet.
Top reviews from other countries
Jedoch gab ich ihm dann doch eine Chance auf eine Komplettlesung, habe es dann in einem Rutsch durchgelesen und nun meine moralische Schuld beglichen und das Buch gekauft. Einziger Spoiler: Ich hätte den Blindkauf nicht bereut.
Ist es großartige SF? Nein. Aber es ist passable Sci-Fi Unterhaltung mit einigen nettem Ideen, kompetent zusammengebaut. Die Technik der Zeitmaschine ist nur Technobabble, buchstäblich nur das Vehikel um die Protagonisten in die Vergangenheit zu kriegen.
Solide Arbeit auch an der Innenwelt der Hauptperson.
Am Ende ein nicht ganz unvorhersehbarer Plottwist, mit dessen Grundphilosophie ich nicht ganz einverstanden bin. Wer „Die Nadelsuche“ von Hal Clement lesen mag (auch eine Empfehlung) wird wissen warum. Aber wirklich schlimm ist das nicht – letztlich bestimmt halt der Autor seine Welt und die Idee ist nicht völlig von der Hand zu weisen.
Aber ich weiche ab. Wer sich zwei, drei Stunden unterhalten lassen will, wird hier m. E. gut bedient. Wahrscheinlich kann man das Buch in ein paar Jahren nochmal lesen.