This is going to sound like a backhanded compliment, but I mean it sincerely when I say the book was better than I thought it was going to be.
The setu This is going to sound like a backhanded compliment, but I mean it sincerely when I say the book was better than I thought it was going to be.
The setup of a struggling young actress in Richard III hurtled though time via a magic ring to the reign of the actual Richard III where she and the king have instant chemistry was not a set up that installed me with great confidence – but I decided to give it a try – and was more than pleasantly surprised at how good this book was!
Anise is initially annoying as she quails and flails and cries and sighs and can’t seem to be actionable in anyway – but, once she really gets it that she could die, like for reals, not like, die on stage, she quickly scrambles up the learning curve and starts making smart decisions in what she says and does.
And a good thing she’s a fast learner, because she surrounded by a court filled with intriguers that didn’t leave much for Shakespeare to make up. Speaking of which, Anise’s copy of Richard III (because of course she has a copy with her when she gets sucked back in time) is something of a Chekov’s Gun as you just wait to see what will happen when the characters get their hands on their own book. Most of the characters who see it freak out, screaming Treason! Witchcraft! Propaganda! Prophecy! William Caxton, however, fanboys out over the technology that printed it, practically drooling over the smudge free lettering and razor straight pages.
Meanwhile, Margaret Beaufort as an evil sorcerous is such a ridiculous concept it spins all the way over into brilliant. The magic that should be completely out of place fits in perfect with this re-telling of Richard III’s reign. The evil sorcery also leads to one of the most gruesome endings suggested for the Princes in the Tower. Even by the standards of the day, it’s bad.
The story grinds forward to the Battle of Bosworth that, despite Anise’s frantic warnings, seems to be heading to need just as history dictates – or does it? Time travel and all the twists it offers come into play in the end, fueled by love and hate.
The book isn’t perfect – Tipton’s fanfiction roots show and, like early Tamara Peirce works, she hasn’t quite filed off all the serial numbers from her inspirations. Excellent potential and I look forward to more from her. ...more
Trips in Time is an old anthology of time travel themed sci-fi stories, all written in the mid-20th century. I read it a long while ago and could only Trips in Time is an old anthology of time travel themed sci-fi stories, all written in the mid-20th century. I read it a long while ago and could only remember one of the stories. Luckily, that story was so off the wall a few key terms in Google and I was able to find the book again. (‘Manna’ was the story, BTW)
Divine Madness by Roger Zelazny Grief (and brain chemistry) prove to, for once, be stronger than time. Hurray for happy endings! (or beginnings, in this case)
Manna by Peter Phillips The science of ghosts explored in a English-village comedy-drama meets big-corp-politics drama-comedy.
Mugwump 4 by Robert Silverberg It was a hilarious parody of the Cold War – up until the end m which is a major downer ending that really twists the knife as it makes the point that This Cold War Is Stupid.
The King's Wishes by Robert Sheckley A sci-fi take on the Arabian Nights, set in the “now” (it was written in the 1950’s) with a genie and a clever wife who wins the day with mechanics rather than the husband’s hapless attempts at mysticism.
The Long Remembering by Poul Anderson A look at how time travel can leave one helplessly nostalgic for the past. Not too much sympathy for the main character since he gets to go back to the age of plumbing and antibiotics, but you always do remember that first love with rose colored glasses, right?
Try and Change the Past Change War by Fritz Leiber The influences of WWII and the Cold War are easy to spot from a distance in this story about the futility of trying to change Time, presented here as the comedy-drama of one pawn in a galactic-sized war. ...more
So… its time travel, which means things get loopy.
Captain Marvel has all these powers she’s ambivalent about, but puts off angsting long enough to go So… its time travel, which means things get loopy.
Captain Marvel has all these powers she’s ambivalent about, but puts off angsting long enough to go for a joy ride in a plane that belonged to a recently deceased trail blazer fighter pilot, Helen Cobb, who inspired her to fly planes.
So, naturally, she gets sucked into some sort of time hole and meets up with Helen Cobb and they end up both fighting against each other and working together.
(view spoiler)[ I was very disappointed Helen lost that last fight/race – I was cheering for her to get the superpowers. She at least would whine about them! (hide spoiler)]
I was a little confused by the time line – but that’s a given for time travel stories. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A collection of short stories by Kage Baker taking place in her Company universe where time traveling cyborgs pilfer the past for fu Company of Thieves
A collection of short stories by Kage Baker taking place in her Company universe where time traveling cyborgs pilfer the past for future profits.
"The Carpet Beds of Sutro Park" A very touching story about a flawed cyborg who takes refuge in his recorded memories to avoid the ugliness of the 21st century.
“Unfortunate Gytt” A sort of Steampunk take on the Roslyn Chapel section of the Da Vinci Code. The main character has absolutely no idea what he’s gotten himself into and stumbles around, sucked into a horrific adventure in which both sides race to get their hands on something that could change the world – or make people richer.
"Mother Aegypt" A con artist runs into one of the bitterest of Kage Baker’s Company cyborgs. Spectacularly ignorant of just how big a secret he’s stumbled on, and fatalistically big ego’d, he thinks he can sweep her off her feet with a little sweet talk and bon bons and at the same time line his pockets with profitable secrets. It ends as badly as possible in a Russian-comedy type of way. Think The Twelve Chairs rewritten by Roald Dahl.
"Rude Mechanicals" If Wile. E. Coyote put on a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it might have looked something like this. The cyborgs Joseph and Lewis go on a madcap adventure through Hollywood to keep the universe in order by making sure a certain diamond is not discovered until history says it will be. It’s an old school comedy with punchlines you see coming a mile away, but you are left chuckling the whole time in anticipation of the next anvil Coyote is going to catch on his head.
"The Women of Nell Gwynne's" The realities of prostitution lightened up with a Steampunk adventure. The women are all well trained spies who take advantage of when men drop their guard in bed to collect information for the Company. They have to infiltrate a house party / private auction to keep some stolen technology from landing in the wrong hands. (A Victorian take on the spy movies where the villain holds an auction to sell the nerve gas / missiles / code list / etc. to the highest bidder.) Luckily, the villain likes to think of himself as “cultured” and wants “entertainment” for his evil soiree. Sexy steampunk hilarity ensues.
"Hollywood Ikons" Based on her notes, Baker’s sister wrote this after Baker’s untimely death. Joseph and Lewis are sent on a mission through WWII Hollywood, complete with stolen art, Nazis, forgeries, The Little Prince, chocolate, and Casablanca. ...more
**spoiler alert** A two-for-one time travel book. First we see the year 1960, followed by a trip to 1860.
Both were very important years as far as Set**spoiler alert** A two-for-one time travel book. First we see the year 1960, followed by a trip to 1860.
Both were very important years as far as Setting The Stage For Important Events To Come – both were fascinating time periods, on the brink of old worlds ending and new worlds beginning. However, we get very little of the grand sweep of things, the major figures and political event s- we see both time period through the eyes of a 13 year old girl who is just trying to keep her head above water. We get a very realistic slice of life in both periods, shown by a writer who holds no punches in explaining, in detail, what the time periods were really like, and why slavery was bad.
Poor Sophie is what we call “wrong genre savvy” – she knows that’s she’s in a story, but having been raised on a steady diet of Alice in Wonderland, C.S Lewis’s Narnia series, and Edward Edgar’s Tales of Magic series, she thinks adventures are magical things were the main character never gets hurt, has lots of help, and is given lots of special attention.
She makes a wish with a trickster god who gleefully sends her back to 1860 where she is automatically assumed to be a slave and put to work. The worst part being later on the trickster tells her if she had been a bit quicker on her feet she could have landed a much better position. But, she’s a very realistic character – she acts exactly as a real person would i.e. being pretty dumb founded by the turn of events and getting into trouble pretty fast for not knowing what he right thing to say is. She also has to deal with the problem of wearing glasses – a detail I loved – and learns pretty quick to keep her mouth shut and eyes down. She’s a fairly meek character throughout, so it seemed odd every now and then when there was a flash of someone with a stronger backbone – was it character growth or inconsistency of characterization?
I was disappointed that she quickly forgets she’s from the 20th century – even so far as making up new memories of a life in the 19th century. I might buy that if she had been there a lot longer, or if she just blanked out everything due to trauma, but the whole false memories thing hit a wrong note with me.
After quite the dirty, smelly, dangerous, mind altering, eyes widening, hair’s breath from getting raped adventure (if you still want to call it that after how Real things got) Sophie gets to go home, and here’s a shocker, it isn’t all wrapped up in a neat little bow the second she gets back to 1960 – she’s been gone 6 months her time, 20 minutes her aunt’s time, so she’s forced to deal with the problem of her growth spurt, new clothes, calluses, and over all vastly different mind and body. Her aunt takes it fairly in stride, unsure of how much to believe, but at least is willing to listen.
I was expecting an epilogue where Sophie runs away and joins MLK’s group, but instead we get the standard putting away childhood/excepting oncoming adulthood ending, but I think there’s hope she’s going on to embrace a life of liberty and justice for all. ...more
When I was about 3/4's through this story I was thinking, "oh come /on/ Kage, you can do better than this!" Then I got to the end, walked straight int When I was about 3/4's through this story I was thinking, "oh come /on/ Kage, you can do better than this!" Then I got to the end, walked straight into the twist ending, and was immeditely contrite.
An excellent grandfather paradox, served with roast cheastnuts....more
The latest outing with Betsy was hit or miss - a lot of hits, but also a lot of misses. I'm gonna keep
Oh MaryJanice Davidson - I just can't quit you!
The latest outing with Betsy was hit or miss - a lot of hits, but also a lot of misses. I'm gonna keep reading this series - but am selling my MJ collection and will only get her books from the library from now on. They are worth reading once - like candy - but not worth keeping - the same way there is no reason to always keep a Whitman Sampler on hand in case of an emergency romance. ...more
No, sorry, I don't buy it. You cannot just think yourself back in time. 'Timeline' had a better method of time travel - and that involved fax machines No, sorry, I don't buy it. You cannot just think yourself back in time. 'Timeline' had a better method of time travel - and that involved fax machines!