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Project Pendulum

3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  162 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Silverberg presents a short novel about two people involved in the world's first time-travel experiment--one that sends them whirling pendulum-like into the distant past and unimaginable future. Reprint from Walker.
Mass Market Paperback, 210 pages
Published October 1st 1989 by Spectra (first published 1987)
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Craig
May 08, 2011 Craig rated it liked it
Not one of Silverberg's best, but an interesting time-travel story for younger readers. Some of the science and plot points were unconvincing, but it was a fast and fun light read.
John
Aug 02, 2010 John rated it did not like it

For mankind's very first time travel experiment, the identical twins Eric (a paleontologist) and Sean (a physicist) are sent on a sort of oscillating path through time, spending short periods in eras that are each exponentially farther into the future or past than the last; thus, when Eric is at a point 5 x 107 minutes into the future, Sean is at a point 5 x 107 minutes into the past; next, Sean will be 5 x 108 minutes into the past and Eric 5 x 108 minutes into the future; and so on. Why this b
...more
Mario
Nov 14, 2011 Mario rated it did not like it
A story would have been nice, and maybe a look into some of the implications of the technology being described? That doesn't seem to be a lot to ask for a scifi book, but you won't find either here.

The more I think about it, the more this book bothers me. The initial idea is perfectly sound (as far as ideas for sci-fi books go, that is), but the book contains nothing beyond that. I won't fault the author for the failed predictions between our world so far and the 2016 he uses as his starting poi
...more
Greg Frederick
May 06, 2015 Greg Frederick rated it really liked it
What a great concept! Twins swinging back and forth through time like equal and opposite pendulums is probably not very scientifically sound, but Silverberg uses the idea to give quick yet rich glances at the possible future and past. Also, he makes several references to paradoxes throughout the book and shrugs each off with a "who cares, no one really knows how this stuff would really work anyways" kind of attitude, which was refreshing.

It was a real page turner. The only problem with this book
...more
A.E. Shaw
Feb 16, 2012 A.E. Shaw rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I first read this in 1989, and to come back to it now, and read about 2016, and 2006, and so on, is...quite wonderfully bizarre. It's a quick and easy read, this, almost a short story, and more than anything, it's an absolute triumph of structure. It tells the tale of Californian twins Eric and Sean, who sign up for an experiment during which they'll be flung forward and backward in time. The glimpses of past and future are perfectly, expertly drawn, and the momentum of the story is fantastic. T ...more
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 Althea Ann rated it did not like it
I've enjoyed many of Silverberg's works, but this short book is more of a single idea than a finished story. In a CalTech time travel experiment, twin brothers are recruited for a time-travel experiment. Equally 'weighted' by their identicality, the time-travel gadget will send them swinging through time like pendulums, in an ever-increasing arc throughout history, each stopping briefly but separately at the same spots.
OK, it's not even much of an idea (the logical holes are obvious, as with mos
...more
Stuart
Nov 10, 2016 Stuart rated it it was amazing
One of the formative books from my eleventh year, I recently re-read Project Pendulum and was pleasantly surprised--impressed even--at how well the book has held up after 21 years of maturity.

Quite possibly the best YA novel, in about 120 pages Mr. Silverberg deals with global warming, time travel paradoxes, identity (the protagonists are twins, a delightful twist), the far past, a truly spectacular future, true love and about 190 million years of time travel. Very impressive.

In the time you've
...more
Merrill
Feb 06, 2010 Merrill rated it really liked it
Twin brothers, one a physicist and the other a paleontologist, become the first humans to participate in a time travel experiment. As one goes forward in time, the other goes backward the same distance. Then the pendulum swings and they switch places, but go a little further each time in increasing distances until they reach "time ultimate." Great story, but it felt half finished. When they reach time ultimate, they supposedly start back to time zero in reverse, but we don't get to read that sto ...more
David
Mar 21, 2011 David rated it did not like it
The best thing about this book was it was quick. There were only two hundred pages with maybe half of them containing illustrations or chapter titles.

The story was a warmed over laundry list of time travel themes: time paradoxes, viewing the past, viewing the future, viewing one's self in the past, etc. But none of the themes were explored in any depth or added anything I haven't read many times before. The characters were completely one dimensional.
Adrik
Aug 26, 2016 Adrik rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
Ruim demais... E olha q eu adoro Silverberg.
Parece história escrita por criança, cheia de furos absurdos, como a história dos gêmeos idênticos "pq tem de ser iguais até o ultimo miligrama".
PQP, q merda.
A história do pêndulo é uma bobagem só.
Os saltos pelo tempo se deslocam espacialmente sem controle dos cientistas, mas sempre convenientemente aterrissam em terra firme.
Como cada pedacinho de tempo ocupa umas 2 ou 3 páginas, suas caracterizações são ultra esquemáticas e bem bobas.
Detestei.
Douglas S
Feb 20, 2014 Douglas S rated it it was amazing
A very very unique book filled with snipets of time travel stops along the way. Your mind should enjoy painting colorful pictures as you take a trip through time in this page flipping, faster than light, literary experiment!
Jason
Jun 23, 2014 Jason rated it really liked it
A nice fast paced read that requires a lot of attention but can be finished in a very short time. Unique concept and when it was over I kept wanting to hear about the brother's return trip as well.
Rey
Jul 21, 2014 Rey rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Too choppy to be a great narrative, keeping me at arm's length. Wanted to engage with it further, but never delved into anything very deeply, and chopped when I wanted to flow.
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Robert Silverberg is one of science fiction’s most beloved writers, and the author of such contemporary classics as Dying Inside, Downward to the Earth and Lord Valentine’s Castle, as well as At Winter’s End, also available in a Bison Books edition. He is a past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the winner of five Nebula Awards and five Hugo Awards. In 2004 the Sc ...more
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