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Masters of Time

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  128 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Original title, in magazine serial, was "Recruiting Station." Also published by Ace Books as "Earth's Last Fortress."
~ ~~ ~
A recruiting station; a storefront in the heart of a big-city downtown. Young men can volunteer to join the armies of a beleaguered new democracy overseas.
~ ~~ ~
But the recruitment is a scam. Each volunteer goes, not to the Calonian army, but throu
Paperback, 50-334, 128 pages
Published February 1st 1967 by Macfadden Books (first published 1950)
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3.33  · 
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 ·  128 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Masters of Time is a short fix-up novel comprised of two novelettes originally published in John Campbell's Astounding in 1942 and 1944. The two halves don't mesh in tone very well, though they do tell a coherent story. It's a time travel tale (obviously!), with a cosmic back-drop, but hasn't aged too well. For example, the heroine, who's significantly more intelligent and competent than the hero, never even considers that she might have a career in addition to a marriage; it's strictly an eithe ...more
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a slim book, at least part of it was written in 1942. I mention the date, since the book shows its age in its writing style. It takes place in a non-descript American town in about 1942 in fact. The main character, Norma, was on the verge of suicide when she is approached from a mysterious stranger who seems to know more than he should and turns out to be from the future. Soon he is enslaving her with the aid of an evil machine, while she helps run a recruiting station that lures men und ...more
Jan 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: scifi
One of the worst A.E Van Vogt books I've read - and I've read a good chunk of them
Jim Davis
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
I gave this 3 stars but it was really just rounding up from 2.5 stars. My first experience with Van Vogt was reading the Weapon Shop books while in high school in the early 60's, which i enjoyed very much. The next story that sticks in my memory is Black Destroyer, which was very good, especially considering it was written in 1939. But my more recent experiences with Van Vogt haven't been as positive.

The Null-A books were a disappointment. I thought it was because I really didn't understand Gen
Adam Macleod
Jun 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was terrible. The set up and motivation for the characters is absent. The interest in the story is low and the writing has dated badly. It’s only a short book but I still ditched it about half way through.

The only positive thing I could say about it is that some of the ideas were refined and reused in later psych sci-fi like The Matrix and Bladerunner.

I’d suggest avoiding this one.
Roddy Williams
‘Volunteers for the tomorrow front

It looked like a perfectly innocent store front, a volunteer enrollment office for young idealists who wanted to help the desperate forces of a young democracy overseas win their civil war. The young girl who sat at the desk inside was attractive, sympathetic, and would see that you got your passage safely.

But it was all a trap. It was indeed a recruiting station, but the war for which it brainwashed its deluded cannon fodder was out of this world — remote in ti
Matteo Pellegrini
Quando si è sull'orlo del suicidio, spesso si attende solo un motivo qualsiasi per riacquistare la voglia di vivere. Nel caso di Norma Matheson, questo motivo è una sfida impossibile. La scoperta che dal futuro si stanno reclutando soldati di ogni epoca per combattere una guerra titanica fra le opposte fazioni dei Gloriosi e dei Planetari, e la responsabilità di aver fatto cadere il proprio ex-fidanzato, Jack Garson, fra i micidiali ingranaggi di questa colossale macchinazione che non rispetta
Oct 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I really wish we had a half-star ability, or a 10 star rating system. I have so many books I've listed in 3-stars, but it seems unfair to place them all together, but I felt that they didn't deserve the 2 or 4 star rating, so here they get stuck in limbo, in the I liked it, but not enough, or I didn't really care for it, but I didn't hate it either. This was the "I didn't hate it" category, but it was certainly nothing special either.
Apr 07, 2015 rated it liked it
It was okay. I was excepting it to be a different kind of read than a sci fi book of today, and it was, but it was still lacking. Sort of. The book felt a little rushed at times and some things were drawn out while others didn't have enough spoken about them.

Overall, don't expect anything too grand, but if you want an entertaining read, I say pick it up.
Oct 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Non so se è anche colpa della traduzione italiana, ma ho trovato L'ultima fortezza della Terra un guazzabuglio di idee mal sviluppate ai limiti della leggibilità. Zero empatia coi personaggi, intreccio confuso e colmo di vicoli ciechi, finale forzatissimo... questo romanzo di van Vogt è senza dubbio la peggior fantascienza che ho letto quest'anno.
Burt Tuxford
Looks like fun.
Lindsay (Santafefan)
Interesting if you like different ways of considering reality. A bit dated, but I could see how it influenced writers since.
A tedious slog through a miserable story told in overwrought prose. The first half is restrained and atmospheric; the second is bizarre. Its best quality is its brevity.
Luca Schidu
Jun 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
dafuq is dis ?
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
1981 grade B
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Alfred Elton van Vogt was a Canadian-born science fiction author regarded by some as one of the most popular and complex science fiction writers of the mid-twentieth century—the "Golden Age" of the genre.

van Vogt was born to Russian Mennonite family. Until he was four years old, van Vogt and his family spoke only a dialect of Low German in the home.

He began his writing career with 'true story' ro