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The Steel Tsar (Oswald Bastable, #3)
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The Steel Tsar

(Oswald Bastable #3)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  546 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Book by Moorcock, Michael
Mass Market Paperback, DAW No. 503 (UE1773) , 160 pages
Published October 1982 by DAW (first published December 1981)
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3.57  · 
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 ·  546 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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I happened across this the final volume of nomad of the time streams series, apparently it has been substantially revised in later versions, when I was an adolescent. I have no idea whether the edition I read was the original or improved, I doubt it matters a great deal. It is the kind of thing that is fun in its own way with convenient deus ex machina plot devices to tie divergent plot elements into a more or less unified story.

The general idea is that the author is editing manuscripts written
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Moorcock is great...this is of course in the old style of sci fi and fantasy, a regular guy cast adrift in time (though not space), trying to make sense of the new worlds around him, trying to break free from his limiting beliefs and ways of seeing the world. Like the other two books in the trilogy of manuscripts recovered, this one looks at war, human nature, politics...the anarchist makhno makes an appearance, that was very exciting. Very enjoyable and thought provoking.
Cécile C.
Nov 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
I liked this book, although it was a somewhat anticlimatic conclusion to the series. It's the shortest and least developped in terms of world-building, and as Bastable appears to have finally lost his pigheaded sympathy for imperialism, you do notice that there's not much left to his character.

On the other hand, it makes absolute sense that this would would be anticlimatic in some ways, instead of a grand finale full of fireworks. The whole point is that history is going through the same hoops
Dec 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: steampunk afficionados
Shelves: steampunk
This is the last book in the trilogy concerning the time hopping Oswald Bastable and are all collected in the book The Nomad of Time, or if u get a more recently published copy, it is now called A Nomad of the Time Streams.

This trilogy in its entirety, including this last book is exceptional. The foundation of these 3 stories is that they are a threateningly engrossing politically focused declaration of human nature resplendent with air ships, zepplins, alternate histories, anarchy and various
David B
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
The third and final adventure of Michael Moorcock's dimension hopping hero, Oswald Bastable, is a disjointed narrative in two parts. The opening sequence, featuring a group of disheartened and frightened men awaiting their fates on an island that has been forgotten in a world-wide conflict is pretty suspenseful. The second part, featuring the villain of the title, is frequently entertaining as well. One scene, which features a battle between dirigibles and men on horseback, rises to the level of ...more
Ben Moore
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A bit of a strange one in that it doesn’t really feel like the climactic end of a series. Rather it feels like a stand alone novel that sets the character up for possibly future adventures.

It also drops us into the middle of the action. There’s no set up this time. That aside, like the previous two it’s a fun, creative story that isn’t too challenging.
John Bleasdale
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bastable finds himself part of another war but his knowledge of time travel has increased and his understanding of time deepened.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Written in the style of 19th-century adventure fantasy, this doesn't exactly hold up, but the worldbuilding is so neat that it's worth reading anyway.
Artur Coelho
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Dos três livros que compõem a trilogia Nomad of the Time Stream este, que o encerra, é o menos interessante e mais repetitivo. Percebe-se aqui que enquanto Moorcock expande o universo conceptual do seu multiverso, fá-lo de forma formulaica. Mudam os adereços, mas a narrativa segue a fórmula que resultou bem nos romances anteriores. Bastable acorda num novo continuum histórico, tem um périplo como vítima de eventos, a situação muda e as aventuras continuam com Bastable agora como interveniente ac ...more
Jay Daze
Jul 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, sf
I read the 1981 Granada Paperback Original which probably means that my review is of the unrevised edition of The Steel Tsar.

My enjoyment dropped for the third and final installment of The Oswald Bastable Trilogy. First, it is a BAD sign that Moorcock feels the necessity to write in that Bastable has selective amenisia. Is it there to reset Bastable, like some sort of sitcom character?

The book has some interesting things to say about history:

"It was human idealism and human impatience and human
Simon Mcleish
Jun 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in March 2000.

The final Oswald Bastable novel is, unfortunately, the most disappointing of the three. In it, the hero once more finds himself involved in a cataclysmic war in an alternate universe. This time, the First World War hadn't happened, as Britain and Germany became allies while France declined as a power. Then Japanese imperialism, symbolised by the destruction of the modern showpiece of enlightened colonialism at Singapore, leads to war, and Bastab
Andrew Lasher
May 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
There isn't much that I can write in this review that I haven't said in the reviews for the previous two books in this trilogy, The Warlord of the Air and The Land Leviathan. This is the third book in the trilogy Nomad of the Time Streams. The protagonist is Oswald Bastable, who has the singular (mis)fortune to be able to travel through time and to alternate dimensions. Unfortunately for Mr Bastable, there is very little he can do to control this talent, so he is basically lost at sea in time an ...more
David Bonesteel
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it
The third and final adventure of Michael Moorcock's dimension hopping hero, Oswald Bastable, is a disjointed narrative in two parts. The opening sequence, featuring a group of disheartened and frightened men awaiting their fates on an island that has been forgotten in the world-wide conflict that is raging, is pretty suspenseful. The second part, featuring the villain of the title, is frequently entertaining as well. One scene, which features a battle between dirigibles and men on horseback, ris ...more
Roger Whitson
The last two books of the Nomad in Time series are exciting enough. However, I'm not sure I'd recommend anyone read them other than completists. This final chapter is fun and there are great scenes, but the ending veers off into metaphysical speculation a little too much - and still does not adequately explain what's happening in the series. The best book of the series, by far, remains the first one. Books 2 and 3 seem to me simply experiments in different formations of human suffering. Further, ...more
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The end of the Bastable trilogy.
Less walk on parts for the famous, unless you know a load about Eastern European communists and anarchists in the early 20th cent.
Airships and total war, drug and alcohol abuse amongst ex-pats in far flung outposts, time travel...the usual.
Una Persson once again as a kind of deus ex machina.
Very enjoyable conclusion to the series...or is it? Let's be honest, it seems that every book Moorcock writes is part of one giant series that continually self refs itself. I r
Dec 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first half is a bit run-of-the-mill alternate worlds stuff albeit with Moorcock's talent for express-pace plotting. The second half turns into a genuinely satisfying conclusion to the Nomad of the Time Streams cycle that I wasn't initially expecting. The introduction of the League of Temporal Adventurers is a good pointer that Moorcock would be able to get Doctor Who in his later novelisation.
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is probably my least favorite of the Nomad of the Time Streams series. Bastable finds himself in the Great War of 1941 in which he joins the Russian Imperial Airship Navy and finds himself coming face to face with a rebel named Dugashvii, the Steel Tsar also known as Joseph Stalin. An interesting mix of ideology and the consequences of actions.
B.  Barron
Aug 20, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not quite as good as the second one. It was still a pretty nice book, but it seemed a little incomplete and rushed in some manner. I am curious now because wikipedia claims the Omnibus version has a few more chapters.
More time travel, mutiversal travel, and philosophy from Michael Moorcock. Though it has airships and a metal masked Stalin, this isn't the facile 'steampunk' so popular these days. Moorcock tackles questions of colonialism, anarchy, socialism and existential philosophy with his usual élan.
Nov 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Follow up to Moorcock's first adventure of Captain Bastable. Enjoyable. Gives me insight into steampunk history...
Shannon Appelcline
May 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Some interesting characters, some interesting reflections of The Eternal Champion, but a dull book.
Zachary Peck
Mar 28, 2016 rated it liked it
My favorite in the series. Wish the middle one had been more like this. Definitely not my favorite hero in the multiverse.
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Feb 26, 2012
Nick Phillips
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Nov 04, 2012
Ethereal Nige
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Mar 15, 2013
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Mar 27, 2012
Martin Bolanca
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Feb 01, 2010
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Michael John Moorcock is an English writer primarily of science fiction and fantasy who has also published a number of literary novels.
Moorcock has mentioned The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Apple Cart by George Bernard Shaw and The Constable of St. Nicholas by Edward Lester Arnold as the first three books which captured his imagination. He became editor of Tarzan Adventures in 1956,

Other books in the series

Oswald Bastable (3 books)
  • The Warlord of the Air (Oswald Bastable, #1)
  • The Land Leviathan: A New Scientific Romance (Oswald Bastable, #2)