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Cryptozoic!

3.15  ·  Rating Details ·  269 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
He roamed through the dim reaches of the remote past and like a phantom, the Dark Woman haunted him at every turn. Was she a hallucination produced by the stresses of his bizarre existence? Or was she a ghost from a future more distant than his own?

Bush had been called into a totalitarian world, trained to kill, and then sent back in time - as an assassin. And still the D

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Paperback, 191 pages
Published March 28th 1977 by Avon (first published 1967)
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Sequoyah


I had high hopes for this novel. Actually, I had never anticipated reading any book as much as this one, for some strange reason (Most likely the description that other reviewers had). Also, I have never been more let down by any novel.

This novel is completely unintelligible, and there are many parts that annoy me completely.
The main character has the record for mind traveling the closest to any human age, but still hasn't reached humans yet. Yet, after he goes back to do his "assigned job" he
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Dmadden
Aug 12, 2008 Dmadden rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Manny
As everyone knows, there are two main families of time-travel stories. There are the ones like Back to the Future, where it's possible to change the past, and there are ones like Hitchhiker's Guide, where everything fits together like a jigsaw.

And then there's Cryptozoic, which doesn't slot into any normal classification. I won't even try to explain how it works, but it's different all right. The book has an interesting, haunted atmosphere, though it doesn't make much sense.
John
Mar 09, 2013 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Eddie Bush is an artist and an employee of the Wenlock Institute, founded by the psychologist who realized, around 2090, that the only thing constraining us within the flow of time is our mind -- more accurately, our perception. It seems we have an undermind that's usually under complete control of our overmind, which governs such things as our perceptions of the reality around us. By use of various mental disciplines (effectively, a mantra) and a magic potion, people can prise their undermind f
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Charles Anderson
Written in the 1960s and set in the 2090s, I was most struck by how limited the author's imagination was about how society might have altered. His picture of life in 2093 sounded drearily familiar, military coup to one side.

However, his descriptions of mind travelling to the past are intriguing, and the continuity problem that seemed to have crept into part 2 is cleverly resolved at the end, with a final, ambiguous twist.
Hank Hoeft
Sep 17, 2016 Hank Hoeft rated it it was ok
Back in the late 1960's and early 1970's I read a lot of New Wave science fiction, and at the time I thought I must be pretty stupid, because so much of it I just didn't get. Now I'm almost 60 years old and just finished reading what the back-cover blurb from the Science Fiction Book Club said was "one of the best SF novels of the decade" (i.e., the 1960's). Brian Aldiss's Cryptozoic! is not as incomprehensible to me as it would have seemed to me if I'd read it 40+ years ago, but it is still an ...more
Bill FromPA
Oct 13, 2014 Bill FromPA rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
At the end of the twenty first century, a “moderately expensive” drug allows humans to “mind-travel”, to transport themselves to some past era where they can see but not hear, smell, taste or touch their surroundings and not be seen or sensed by the residents of the past. One flaw in the novel is that it isn’t very clear where exactly the bodies of these mind travelers are while they are in the past. They go into a room in the 2090s, take the drug and leave behind a living sample of their tissue ...more
Guru
Oct 07, 2010 Guru rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
"Cryptozoic" is probably the most psychedelic sci-fi book I have ever read. It is a mixed bag actually, Aldiss's writing style swinging wildly between the very crisply intellectual to the most juvenile.
Set in the 2090s, when humankind have figured out that time is actually more of mental construct than a physical one and time travel can actually be equated to mind travel. Mind-Travel becomes a rage, especially in the western world, where the economy is already fragile.
The chief protagonist, Te
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Alan
Aug 14, 2012 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having just read The Interpreter, I found Cryptozoic much better. The style seems more mature. The dialogue is more authentic with some differentiation between individuals, though with occasional lapses into preaching and narrative exposition by the characterse towards the end.

Cryptozoic is very much a book of its time - (c) 1967. Advertised as a 'psychosexual thriller', that designation would raise eyebrows today. Its focus is on the character of Edward Bush, a mind-traveller wandering through
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Tony Atkins
After reading the flawed but compelling "Against a Dark Background", it was refreshing to read an older work, with a straightforward central premise. In "Cryptozoic", humans have discovered that they can (through the aid of drugs and mental discipline) project their consciousness back to visit the distant past. They can observe but not interact with the past, thus avoiding any number of paradoxes. The main character is an artist, who intends to exploit the past as inspiration to express the spir ...more
M.P. Johnson
Nov 19, 2014 M.P. Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Could Use More Dinosaurs, But...

Aldiss is one of the more underrated sci-fi authors out there. His stuff is consistently smart and entertaining. But I mainly picked this one up because it has dinosaurs on the cover. There are not many dinosaurs in it. That's okay, because it's still a pretty rad tale of time travel via mind power that turns into this weird governmental/art conspiracy to take down the very concept of time.

Page 26 in the paperback has a line about a sweet hole that is my favorite
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Daniela
Aug 05, 2008 Daniela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, sci-fi, sold
For my taste a little bit too much complicated. There were things I even was not able to imagine, what it actually could be and my imagination is actually very wild. Well, the idea of turning our perception of time upside down was interesting but my overall feeling about this story is a little bit frustrating.

I released this book in wild in the reception of the hotel Belitsa, Primorsko, Bulgaria if someone is interested.

A Czech translation of Cryptozoic! by the way.
hannonle
No me ha entusiasmado, a parte que soy de la opinión que esta no debe ser la mejor novela del autor. plantea opciones interesantes a ratos. Pero hay ciertas cosas que me chirrían, cosas que tienen que ver con la sociedad de 1967 que es cuando se escribió el libro como por ejemplo que la mujer cocine mientras los hombres hablan de ciencia...
Bob Rust
May 31, 2016 Bob Rust rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cryptozoic! (1968) is an odd and original treatment of Time Travel which sees time as running backwards with a consequent reversal of cause and effect comparable to Philip K Dick's Counter-Clock World published in the same year.
Alessandra
Nov 28, 2007 Alessandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for a decent quick read
Recommended to Alessandra by: the $2 bin
Decent enough - though the end felt very thrown together, and stops abruptly, in my opinion. Beautiful prose, though. Enjoyed the theory concerning time that is offered, but wish it had been fleshed out a bit more.
Neil Davies
Disappointing. Took some getting into, then in part 2 it picked up a bit only to fizzle out with an ambiguous ending. Interesting ideas, as always with Aldiss, but just failed in the delivery this time for me.
Peter
May 10, 2012 Peter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: time-travel
I enjoyed this at the time but haven't re-read it
Anthony Faber
Oct 21, 2015 Anthony Faber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oldschool SF, but top shelf old school SF.
doug bowman
May 09, 2012 doug bowman rated it really liked it
An interesting concept: we are travelling backwards in time instead of forward.
Harri Kolari
Harri Kolari rated it it was amazing
Oct 22, 2016
Deanna
Deanna rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2011
Miguel Queirós
Miguel Queirós rated it really liked it
Sep 25, 2016
Dmorell
Dmorell rated it liked it
Jan 28, 2017
Lili
Lili rated it liked it
Dec 15, 2012
David James
David James rated it it was ok
Sep 03, 2013
Hojaplateada
Hojaplateada rated it really liked it
Jul 27, 2012
Andrew Nash
Andrew Nash rated it liked it
Oct 28, 2014
Jose Barbosa
Jose Barbosa rated it really liked it
Jan 22, 2014
Dawn
Dawn rated it it was ok
Sep 18, 2016
Elizabeth Tomkins
Elizabeth Tomkins rated it liked it
Jul 07, 2011
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Pseudonyms: Jael Cracken, Peter Pica, John Runciman, C.C. Shackleton, Arch Mendicant, & "Doc" Peristyle.

Brian Wilson Aldiss is one of the most important voices in science fiction writing today. He wrote his first novel while working as a bookseller in Oxford. Shortly afterwards he wrote his first work of science fiction and soon gained international recognition. Adored for his innovative liter
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