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The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov
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's review
Oct 07, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: my-favorites

I do not hold Asimov in the same regard as most sci-fi readers do. But this book shows his genius. I've stated in other reviews that I'm a sucker for a good time travel story. This is probably the best I've read so far.

There is a "space" outside of the normal time continuum. There's an organization, simply called Eternity, that works in that space and oversees all of time (well, most of time). The organization runs very much like a military operation, without obvious weapons. Ah, but they technically do have a weapon...time itself.

Eternity has an intricate system for watching over individual centuries and making sure that things progress the way they are "supposed" to. If anything gets out of balance (technology, politics, culture, ideology, etc), Eternity steps in to make a Change. There's a huge organization that precisely calculates what and when they need to change to keep some unwanted thing from developing.

Each century receives tiny changes on a continuous basis. Big changes are much more rare. But all changes result in the loss of something or possibly, someone. It is also the responsibility of Eternity to catalog the technology and art that will never exist again due to their changes.

Anyway, the nature of the work the change agents make requires them to live fairly solitary lives. They basically devote their lives to this organization and abandon any thought of having a family. That's perfectly fine for the loner who is the main character of this story... until he meets a woman that he literally can't get out of his head. He jeopardizes all he's worked for to protect her from his own organization, only to find out...
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