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Times Without Number

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Traveling backward in time, Don Miguel had to undo the errors and interruptions of other time-interlopers. Even the most insignificant nudging of the past could entirely alter the present! And he suspected that a maniacal genius crazed with a desire for nationalist vindication had plotted to alter the victorious outcome of the Spanish Armada of 1588 - thus changing ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 156 pages
Published January 1st 1975 by ACE SF (first published 1962)
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Richard Derus
Rating: 3.5* of five

That was a nice ride. It took me several days to read its 156pp due to a 2017 siege of thrice-damned migraines. Loaded onto your device, however, it's a long-post-office-line's worth of interruptable reading.

The ISFDB entry on the book describes it as a collection of three stories, only loosely interconnected. I don't feel argumentative, so I'll stipulate that the book started out that way and, in the 1969 edition I read, was made into a reasonable stitch-up.

Brunner wasn't
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this one by John Brunner back in high school and enjoyed it just as much upon rereading it for the new year. I like alternate history and this is a classic of the genre. It is 1988 and the Spanish Empire is preparing to celebrate the 400th anniversary of its greatest victory--the defeat of the English Navy by the Invincible Armada, which led to the invasion and occupation of England by the Spanish Army. Don Miguel, who lives in this world, is a member of the Society of Time, which ...more
Michael Brady
"Times Without Number" read like three progressively more complex short stories, each featuring the same protagonist which were later assembled into a single novel. I guessed right. John Brunner published each of the three acts as separate stories in 1962, and the novel in 1969. I enjoy a well done time travel alternative history and these adventures of Don Miguel Navarro, Licentiate in Ordinary of the Society of Time deliver. I won't say more for fear of creating a spoiler paradox.
Entertaining, trippingly written alt history time police fixup. Walk back several points for unforced errors, including Comic Relief Stock Ineffectual Feminist.
John Loyd
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Times Without Number (1969) 156 pages by John Brunner

To get my engineering degree some humanities credits were requires. When it came time to register for classes in my sophomore year of college I looked through the catalog and saw a science fiction course. I signed up. The reading list included The Road to Science Fiction #2 edited by James Gunn, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, The Dispossessed by Leguin, A Case of Conscience by Blish, Childhood's End by
Erik Graff
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brunner fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
My first ever trip to Florida was with Linda Harrington to visit her paternal grandmother in Tampa/St. Pete. It was August. It was insanely hot and humid. The only relief was a distant enclosed shopping mall and the development's pool.

The mall had a paperback exchange store at which I was able to pick up several books after reading the Durant volume I'd brought along. One of them was God of the Witches, another was this John Brunner novel.

Usually I don't like time travel stories. This, given the
Dario Andrade
John Brunner teve uma razoável importância na Ficção Científica dos anos 50 e 60. Seu Stand on Zanzibar talvez seja considerada sua obra mais conhecida. A despeito disso, não me recordo de haver lido nada dele.
Bem, gostei desse A História em perigo (Time without numbers). Não é seguramente a melhor coisa de viagens no tempo que já li, mas há coisas bem interessantes, caso da vitória da Invencível Armada, em 1588, ser a linha temporal original e a nossa ser, na verdade, a linha alterada. E não
Cheryl Marren
I liked this book as a view of alt. history of a time period you wouldn't usually think of changing - the success of the Spanish Armada... I chuckled at the statement about it being so much easier to travel through time than space... it's a cute concept! I occasionally found the long and very technical descriptions about the how's and whys of temporal travel/interruption too hard to follow and found myself glossing over them because it was too much for me to try and understand so I really don't ...more
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don Miguel Navarro is a man with a most unusual job. As a Licentiate of the Society of Time, he is a time traveling agent for a Spanish Empire that continues to thrive four hundred years after the Armada successfully conquered England in 1588. Tasked with observing the past, he is always on the lookout for improper uses of time travel lest it bring about changes to the present. A casual encounter at a party results in just such a discovery, one that leads Don Miguel to a sinister conspiracy that ...more
Kelly Wagner
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had entirely forgotten about this alternate history until I was sorting through books for the community yard sale, and ran across this in the boxes that had been in storage. It's a nice chance of pace from all the alt-Civil-War and alt-World-War-II; this one's turning point is the Spanish Armada defeating the English. And then a few centuries later the Jesuits discover time travel.

It's not a super-heavy read, but it's fun and has some nice details. The New World characters are especially
Erik Graff
Oct 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brunner fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I've read this book twice. The second time was while visiting my wife's paternal grandmother in her retirement community near St. Petersberg Florida. It was summer and it was hot, the only relief being staying at home, going to the community pool or hanging out at the mall. I got this one at the mall. The cover was different than the previous edition I'd read, so it was only after getting into it that it struck me as oddly predictable. Having nothing else at hand, and it being short, I reread ...more
Mar 20, 2017 added it
Well, I'm glad Brunner went with a non- traditional ending, without necessarily feeling a need to tie together the plot's tensions toward a satisfying resolution. a neat reversal of fictive realitities, and discussion of technicalities near the end. The greatest scene for me, in the furor of movement, social relating, and characterizations, was the New Years Eve celebration (ultimately ending up being a one to shift gears for the plot)--- remind me vaguely of the socially riotous finale to the ...more
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice little time travel book of an alternate history from John Brunner. It's not his best by any means, but it's not bad. The story centers around Miguel, who is a member of the society of time in the Spanish Empire, that controls all of Europe and has alliances with the America's. The book is in three parts that are connected, but not all that well. Miguel must try and save his present from various situations where others are using time travel for their own destructive purposes.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What would it be like if Spain had become the imperial conquerer, instead of England? What would there be instead of the United States? Brunner creates an original idea for an alternate history. But whoever rules the empire, you can never escape the greed, cunning and hatred of his fellow man that the Species of humans claims as his own. And that is where the best laid plans of mice and men will end.
P.S. Winn
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting take on time travel and how what you did while in the backward travel could have ab impact of the present. Going back to fix things is not always easy.
Feb 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
review of
John Brunner's Times Without Number
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - February 18, 2013

This is the 2nd Brunner novel I've read - w/ the reading of 3 more on the horizon. I read The World Swappers 1st. You can read my review of that here: . I liked The World Swappers but wasn't exactly head-over-heels about it. I liked Times Without Number more. It fits into the category of what-if-history-had-turned-out-differently? Philip K. Dick's The Man in
Jonathan Palfrey
This easily readable tale is set in quite a well-made alternative world, has an active and well-paced plot and a good range of characters, and is competently written by the standards of 1960s sf. It explores the theory of time travel interestingly and described Larry Niven's law of time travel before Larry Niven did.

However, it feels like a minor book, and when I decided to read it I had no memory of it, although my records tell me I've read it twice in the past. It's not a book that sticks in
Robert Negut
Decent as structure and overall action, ok ending, but not much more.
It is actually made up of three short stories, about 50 pages each, which do end up forming a longer story when put together, but it's still not the same thing.
Also, from a visionary like Brunner, I'd have expected a bit more... vision. So the Spanish Armada defeated the English in 1588 and now Spain rules Western Europe, except the north, and the Americas. But, besides the invention of time travel, the Spanish society of 1988
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Gerard Akker
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What's the Name o...: another time travel book [s] 5 47 Oct 25, 2012 04:26PM  

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John Brunner was born in Preston Crowmarsh, near Wallingford in Oxfordshire, and went to school at St Andrew's Prep School, Pangbourne, then to Cheltenham College. He wrote his first novel, Galactic Storm, at 17, and published it under the pen-name Gill Hunt, but he did not start writing full-time until 1958. He served as an officer in the Royal Air Force from 1953 to 1955, and married Marjorie ...more