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The Universe Maker

3.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  158 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
In this story of three conflicting cultures, a Korean war veteran is suddenly whisked 400 years into the future to be executed for an accidental murder. One of the premier writers of the Golden Age of science fiction, Van Vogt is best known for The World of Null-A, the first science fiction book to be printed by a mainstream publisher.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 1st 1992 by Carroll & Graf Publishers (first published 1950)
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Dan Schwent
Jul 29, 2010 Dan Schwent rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Morton Cargill is pulled into the future by the descendent of a woman he killed in a drunk driving accident by the Inter-Time Society for Psychological Adjustment so that her descendent can see him die. Once he gets there, things quickly become more complicated as he gets caught up in the struggle between three factions, The Floaters, The Tweeners, and The Shadows. Each group wants him for a different nefarious purpose. Which cause will Cargill join and what is his mysterious connection to The S ...more
Roddy Williams
Morton Cargill, a veteran of the Korean War, is drinking in a bar and gets friendly with a young woman who is as drunk as he is. Driving her back home, they crash and she is killed. Morton escapes unscathed and flees the scene.
Later he receives a letter purportedly from the dead woman, arranging a meeting. When he turns up he is abducted and wakes up in a room divided by a glass partition on the other side of which is a woman resembling the dead woman.
Cargill has been transported to the future
...more
Denis
Apr 06, 2015 Denis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: softcover
Yet another long complicated way to tell a simple story. This was an expanded shorter work, one of his last during his 'first wave' published in Startling Stories Jan. '50 under the title “The Shadow Men.” http://icshi.net/sevagram/biblio/shad...

Starts out nicely. The year is 1953 and Morton Cargill, a lieutenant on leave serving in the Korean war had apparently had several too many a drink with a woman (Marie Chanette) in a bar. There is talk about him driving her home in her Chevrolet coupe or
...more
Nathan
Aug 10, 2010 Nathan rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
All fiction has constraints, whether it's Joyce's desire to break all the rules or the familiar shape of the "cosy" mystery. If you read "The Universe Maker" today, you'll wince at the turn of phrase and sigh at the straight-jawed simple characters. In its day, though, this book played by the rules of its genre and is no disgrace. I'm enjoying it for what it is, enjoying the glimpse into pre-60s sexual attitudes and finally beginning to get a sense of the literary continuum between 1880s prolixi ...more
Matteo Pellegrini
Jan 22, 2014 Matteo Pellegrini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantascienza

Un giovane ufficiale in licenza prima di ripartire per il fronte vuol passare una serata in compagnia di una bella ragazza. Desiderio umanissimo. Così, quando una elegante sconosciuta, che dice di chiamarsi Marie Chanette, gli chiede di accompagnarla a casa, il tenente Morton Cargill non si fa troppo pregare. Ma il giovane ha bevuto eccessivamente, di conseguenza la macchina che la donna ha affidato alla sua guida va a schiantarsi contro un albero. Il giorno dopo Cargill si tormenta per ricordar

...more
Joe Santoro
Aug 08, 2015 Joe Santoro rated it liked it
Shelves: hard_sf
I've had good luck with time travel stories lately... but with this one my luck ran out. It totally made my head hurt. Morton Cargill, a Captain fighting in Korea, gets a little too drunk and seemingly kills a girl he met that night trying to drive home.

He later wakes up in the 24th century, ready to have the girls ancestor watch him be killed to fix her historical psychology. He escapes, and finds what is a pretty interesting world... sadly, even though most of the book and all the action take
...more
Jack
Apr 13, 2008 Jack rated it it was amazing
one of my favorite authors - always a lot of fun
Alex
Oct 24, 2009 Alex rated it did not like it
This particular lousy book features time travel so rather than being an actual book it is more diarrhea of the fingers. I feel bad for Mr. Van Vogt and wish for his sake that he had managed to get some Immodium AD. Instead, we get The Universe Makers, which reads more like cliff notes than an actual book.

This is how this book was written: Mr. Van Vogt sat down and pounded his fists on his typewriter for several hours. He looked at the resulting collection of words the next day, decided it wasn'
...more
Nawfal
Aug 16, 2015 Nawfal rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Moves from mystery to social-commentary to time-travel and parallel times without much storyline, interesting event, or dynamic characterization. In fact, this stuff is so bad, I really, really can't believe anyone read it the whole way through and gave it more than 2-stars for a rating. First two chapters might be two stars - the rest of the book is awful. Make serious effort to avoid.
Kelly
Dec 29, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
In the context of when this was written its fantastic. Some scientific progress and technical advancements leave it a little dated, but the concepts, as with much of van Vogt, are well expressed and presented. The scope of epic, the characters a bit flat, but the story and impact have just the right amount of weight. The idea of retroactively paying for your crime is not totally new, but the political world of the future, they play with time and progress of events, and our influence on the futur ...more
Bladestryke
Apr 20, 2016 Bladestryke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A refreshing change of pace in a book about war. I wish most of the planet could read this and learn some things.
John
Jun 04, 2015 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
1980 grade B
Jay Ant
Jan 02, 2016 Jay Ant rated it did not like it
Unlikely, forced plot, DNF.
Gerald
Oct 23, 2012 Gerald rated it it was ok
This is when I realized that there are actually a lot of VV books that just aren't very good...
Jason
Feb 26, 2012 Jason rated it liked it
Enjoyable as long as you don't try to make sense of it.
Erin
Oct 24, 2012 Erin rated it it was ok
Bit schizophrenic, even for Van Vogt.
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May 18, 2016
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May 01, 2016
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Apr 26, 2016
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Alfred Elton van Vogt was a Canadian-born science fiction author regarded by some as one of the most popular and complex science fiction writers of the mid-twentieth century—the "Golden Age" of the genre.

van Vogt was born to Russian Mennonite family. Until he was four years old, van Vogt and his family spoke only a dialect of Low German in the home.

He began his writing career with 'true story' ro
...more
More about A.E. van Vogt...

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