Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The River of Time” as Want to Read:
The River of Time
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The River of Time

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,534 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The River of Time brings together eleven short stories, including "The Crystal Spheres" (WINNER: Hugo Award Best SF Short Story 1985), and four new stories published here for the first time.

Here are powerful tales of heroism and humanity, playful excursions into realms of fancy, and profound meditations on time, memory, and our place in the universe.

The Cry
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 1997 by Orbit (first published June 1986)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The River of Time, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The River of Time

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,534 ratings  ·  33 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Oct 02, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark_harvest-own
This hardcover is copy 169 of 400 copies Signed by David Brin and Paul Sonju (Illustrator)
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing collections of ideas, well developed in short format. I really enjoyed these stories. A few years back I was struggling to keep focussed on reading and short sci-fi kick started me again. Getting into a collection like this makes me think on the ideas and it is very cool to be bombarded by some far out thoughts. I highly recommend this collection, especially for people who want get a spectrum of speculative writing.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-read
A reread of a short story collection from Brin that contains some interesting stories. Some fantasy, some alternate history, some speculative fiction. As is usually the case with story collections some are hits and some are misses, but all worthwhile reads.

My favorites are...
The Crystal Spheres - an interesting take on why we've never seen aliens in our neck of the woods
The Loom of Thessaly - an archaeologist travels to a place that he can't get to, only to find the loom of the world and the anc
Matt Shaw
Other than "Lungfish" (which I enjoyed very much), these stories are...ok. These are workmanlike, sound, and literate, but lack any spark of 'aha!'. Characters are flat (how much different would "The Loom of Thessaly" be with a chappy Zelazny protagonist?) and Brin's overall style in these pieces is grim, lit with leached, unsaturated colors. Bradbury stories could awe you or chill you, Zelazny could entertain and amaze at the same time, and Ellison could inspire or infuriate; these don't get th ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining thought provoker

One of my favorite authors, i enjoy his humor coming through in his shorter pieces and author's notes. I was first introduced to his work in Sundiver and found it to be a unique page-turner. He has not disappointed.
Rob Markley
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
Didn't expect this to be short stories - was still pretty new to David Brin at the time. Nothing has stayed with me from these stories but Brin is worth another look
Lars Dradrach
A mixed bag of sweets, mostly disapointing

The Crystal Spheres & The Fourth Vocation of George Gustaf alone are 4 stars stories, the rest feels like drafts for novels newer completed.
Jun 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
It wasn't clear from the cover that this was a collection of short stories. They all move quickly, but most of the author's discussion at the end of each is redundant, pointing out the extremely obvious.

'Fourth Vocation of George Gustaf' reminded me a of Fred Pohl's 'Midas World', where humanoid robots displace human workers.

'Thor Meets Captain America' covers the same ground as parts of Charlie Stross's 'Atrocity Archives', or the first Hellboy movie, or many other Nazis-as-demon-summoner stori
Deb Holmes
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction-scifi
I just don't like short stories. A couple of these were interesting conceptually, especially Crystal Spheres...or was it Crystal Shards. I want character development though. The author notes between stories provide some interesting insights. One of the later stories is largely incorporated in Existence...that was mildly annoying.
Mar 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
There were a few great stories in this collection, but too much of it was a little awkward, a bit corny. His novels are amazing, but this sampling of short stories was a little disappointing after tearing through the uplift trilogy. I think this is still worth reading, but I'd recommend lowering one's expectations a little.
Feb 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
This is an excellent collection of short stories, split into four sections: destiny, recollection, speculation and propagation. There are very few misfires amongst this collection, but The Crystal Spheres and The Loom of Thessaly stand out (the latter being a Hugo award winner). Definitely one for people that like hard science fiction in particular.
May 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: science fiction fans
Some really interesting and quality stories in this collection. I will have to read some further works by Bryn soon, most likely the "more-like-his-short-stories" book The Postman, which I swore I wouldn't read after watching the Kevin Costner movie, but I'm sure it will be better than that.
Apr 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Amazing collection of short fiction by a respected sci-fi author. Particularly interesting, he gives "author's notes" at the end of each story which don't interfere with the individual reader's interpretation of the stories, but lend to a deeper understanding.
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nice stories by David Brinn. He's a talented author with a good imagination. A few of the stories are really excellent, and the others aren't bad. Some nice spacefaring pieces. I still prefer his novels, but I recommend these short stories, too.
Dec 02, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book 20 years ago when it first came out. After rereading it I was amazed at how much these stories have stuck with me. I'm contently remembering the themes and scenes while forgetting where they came from.
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-and-gone
Collection of short stories by Brin. Most of the stories were good. A few were great. I tried to be more varied in my reading. Right after I finished this book, I read a book of short stories about space habitats. Another version of "Tank Farm" was included in it. The version here was better.
Mar 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Grade C+. Short stories.
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Excellent collection of short stories by David Brin. Science Fiction is definitely a genre that lends itself well to short stories, and this collection has a great variety of settings and themes.
Jul 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good earlier stuff from Brin. His ideas are so amazing, keeps you reading.
Nov 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
A little uneven, but I mostly liked it. I used to be a huge Brin fan; these short stories remind me why.
Ted White
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great collection of stories!
Aug 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This book had a mixture of great stories and some real stinkers. My favorites were "The Crystal Spheres", "The Loom of Thessaly", and "Thor Meets Captain America".
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good short stories. If you have read something like Stranger From a Strange Land you will recognize the general style of writing. Most shorts have unique ideas explored in fun ways.
Apr 13, 2010 marked it as unread  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yard-sale
Scurlock Tower (parking?) receipt, with Vivek's number written on the back: as a bookmark.
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Excellent collection of novellas and short stories, including the Hugo for short stories, "The Crystal Spheres".
Nov 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
The crystal spheres was amazing but most of the stories are. Brin's stuff is must have.
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I particularly loved 'The Crystal Spheres' and the 'Loom of Thessaly'. Some good imaginative ideas overall.
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great science fiction of the caliber of Asimov, Clark etc. Liked every story.
Jennifer Wright
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Thor Versus Captain America and The Loom of Thessaly are two of my favorite short stories - period! Brin's writing style is crisp and compelling and always original.
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Question re: river of time (SPOILERS) 2 7 Dec 01, 2010 04:39AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Tangents
  • Tides of Light (Galactic Center, #4)
  • Limits
  • Perseids and Other Stories
  • Visible Light
  • Globalhead
  • Infinite Dreams
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume III: The Nebula Winners
  • Traces
  • Those Who Watch
  • The Planet on the Table
  • The Last Man on Earth
  • Summertide (Heritage Universe, #1)
  • Riverworld and other stories
See similar books…
David Brin is a scientist, speaker, and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Existence, his latest novel, offers an unusual scenario for first contact. His ecological thriller, Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends