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Juniper Time

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  260 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Juniper Time is a 1st-rate sf novel. Kate Wilhelm has done her usual excellent job of weaving an intricate plot & sympathetically portraying believable & complex characters in settings that are described with force & clarity. This '79 novel is set in the not-too-distant future, when a devastating drought in the American West & much of the rest of the world ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published April 3rd 1981 by Pocket Books (NY) (first published 1979)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 31, 2012 Wealhtheow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Stand on Zanzibar, Make Room! Make Room!
Jean's father is a visionary, and he cajoles and convinces humanity to fund an international space station. But before the station is even finished, strange and tragic accidents start killing the astronauts and delaying the project. Jean's father is the last to die--after that, the station is mothballed.

Years later, Jean's old childhood friend Arthur Cluny manages to get politicians to restart the station. He and his friends head up to space--only to find a mysterious message encased in gold wai
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Mostly very good, even if, purely as extrapolation a lot of plot elements haven't held up. A very canny and thoughtful derailment of a carefully built-up first contact motif set against a near future world where international conflict and ecological crisis prevail. Where the novel failed for me, right at the eleventh hour, was in the excessively expository manner in which the conflicts and resolutions of the last 20 pages are played out, all tell and no show. Wilhelm has points to make about ...more
Fantasy Literature
May 19, 2016 Fantasy Literature rated it liked it
Juniper Time, by Kate Wilhelm, was published in 1979, her first novel after her Hugo-Award winning book Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang. Once again, Wilhelm was interested in ecological collapse. This time, the disaster is a growing drought and the desertification of large parts of world, specifically the US, throwing the country into economic depression and political chaos. Against this backdrop, two people who share a common past struggle to change the present, with surprising results.

Jean Bri
Oct 07, 2008 Chadwick rated it really liked it
Such beautiful writing. SF is the genre perhaps best suited for asking, "Why are we such assholes," and this book asks that question elegantly.
Roddy Williams
‘The technological dream is over...

Man reached for the stars – and failed to keep the Earth in his grasp. With the Western United States devastated by drought, the survivors huddle in squalid concentration camps in the east.

And still the dream won’t go away... In high orbit, an artefact is found that may be man’s first contact with aliens. The only woman who can decode it has found her future in the past, in the remote Indian territories of the Pacific Northwest.
But in which direction does the p
Kirk Macleod
Kate Wilhelm's 1979 novel Juniper Time continues the fascination in Science Fiction with Linguistics that kept cropping up in the 70s (see The Ophiuchi Hotline, The Embedding, Looking Backward from the year 2000, and, most famously Close Encounters of the Third Kind).

The story felt a lot like Christopher Nolan's Interstellar (2014), as it takes place on an earth at the end of environmental disaster and focuses very strongly on issues of parent/child relationships. The novel covers about thirty y
Juniper Lim
Sep 24, 2014 Juniper Lim rated it really liked it
I think that Kate Wilhelm has created a sci-fi story that appeals to the senses as much as it does the imagination. Although the book is about the future discovery of aliens, Kate Wilhelm keeps her perspective rooted in the ancient healing ways of the native americans as well as the mighty power of love. Many times I found myself meditating on my surroundings to realign with the facts it was so realistic. The main characters of Juniper Time were portrayed honestly if not a tad romance n ...more
Feb 26, 2014 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This is an wonderful and unexpected future novel about culture and culture conflict. It illuminates social assumptions and explores the parallel between our relation to native americans and our potential relation with extra-terrestrials. The dominant theme is contrasting our Western culture of hard separation between ourselves and the universe around us with other approaches, using native american culture as an example.

I have seen Wilhelm referred to as a master of the psychological. But I have
May 11, 2015 Rain rated it really liked it
Being generous, mainly because I have yet to read a Wilhelm novel I didnt like, and this was no exception. A highly enjoyable read of speculative sci-fi. The only detraction (or distraction?) was the "dated" nature of the plot devices, having been written during the Cold War era of the 1970s along with video cassettes into massive computers with mountains of rolled printouts.

However, the timeless theme of the vagaries of human nature is explored in Wilhelm's lyrical writing style with interestin
Kate Wilhelm is an excellent writer, who is possibly better known for her mystery/law books. I didn't find out about those until long after I had read her speculative/alternative history/sci fi-ish books. I still haven't read her mysteries, but intend to pick them up some day. In these, her voice speaks of the rawness, the gritty aspect of being human.
Aug 18, 2007 Thannasset rated it really liked it
Shelves: fandsf
This is early Wilhelm--fairly well written, a little clumsy on the mystery part of the setup, wonderful for mood and conveying concerns about communication, our use of planet earth, and a disturbingly plausible 'near-future'. What I learned from this book? Never to plan to settle in a state where most of the water comes from one or two rivers.
Rogue Reader
Dec 09, 2015 Rogue Reader rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia
Ultimate earth-bound sensibility of sensitivity to the land and spirits. Beautifully written, set in eastern Oregon's high desert. Several tells along the way if you want to find them, but don't let it disrupt the flow of the narrative.
Erik Graff
Jan 19, 2009 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wilhelm fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Having read and been very impressed by Wilhelm's Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, I purchased Juniper Time from the Science Fiction Book Club, read it quickly and was left with little impression. Of course it was written well like all of her stuff.
Mar 31, 2016 Leif rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another well written speculative fiction piece by Ms. Wilhelm. I have no huge's just that this writer can be so slow in plot development that by the time you finish the book, you aren't as impressed as when you were reading it.
Jul 22, 2007 Thannasset rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Greenpeace, ecology students AND ecology 'freaks'
Read it and see--would love feedback on this one. Mostly forgotten book by a fine author, as far as I can tell.
Sep 09, 2014 Elaine rated it liked it
slow starting, but very much worth it in the end. And very a propos to what is going on in the world now...
Mary Beth
Mary Beth rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2012
Secret Gril
Secret Gril rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2016
Leslie rated it it was amazing
Jul 16, 2015
Mar 31, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Drought, faux aliens buy time to heal?
Lissa Notreallywolf
Lissa Notreallywolf rated it liked it
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Kate Wilhelm has won the Hugo and several Nebula Awards. She is the widow of author and editor Damon Knight.
More about Kate Wilhelm...

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