Jason's Reviews > Bones of the Earth

Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick
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's review
Aug 09, 2011

really liked it

In Michael Swanwick's novel, a bureaucrat, Griffin walks into paleontologist Leyster's office and offers him a job, to study dinosaurs in their own time, along with hundreds of others in the greatest secret of... well, timeframes get a little muddled, but let's just say it's a big secret. The gift of time travel seems too good to be true and indeed it is, as Griffin tries to keep the intricate web of causality intact among people who have very different ideas.
I really enjoyed this one. Swanwick gives us lots of well-researched, living, breathing dinosaurs which makes it worth reading in itself. As well, his time travel, where older and younger versions of the characters seem to keep popping up and interfering is complex without being too confusing. He's like a sci-fi Neil Gaiman where some of his characters play god, and even the heels of the story are warm and sympathetic. I wish the story was longer, not because it was rushed but because it was so good I wanted it to keep going. There was a thread of fatalism like those that run through Robert Charles Wilson stories that really added to the novel. Highly recommended.

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