Dale's Reviews > A World Out of Time

A World Out of Time by Larry Niven
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's review
Sep 01, 2012

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Read in August, 2012

Re-published by Blackstone Audio in 2012.
Read by Tom Weiner
Duration: 7 hours, 59 minutes

First published in 1976, A World Out of Time is a grand adventure that literally follows its hero, Corbell, across the galaxy and across three million years of time as he reacts to one twist after another that eventually finds him carrying the fate of the entire world on his shoulders.

The story begins with Corbell being revived from being frozen in a cryogenic chamber almost 200 years after he had been frozen in the 1970s because he had in incurable form of cancer. He is not in his own body, however. The patterns of his mind have been recovered and scanned into the "mindwiped" empty brain of a criminal by a totalitarian government called "The State." The State controls the entire world and is interested in interplanetary travel. The great distances and times involved have compelled The State to revive some of the "corpsicles" in order to train them to fly seeder ships that will introduce oxygen-creating simple life to likely planets in order to begin the prep work that will make them habitable. They are sending revived people because it will have to be a solo trip and these people have no friends or loved ones that they would miss (and are given no time to make new friends).

So, Corbell passes all of the tests and is launched into space. But, his independent nature is not anticipated by The State and he steals the spaceship and heads to the center of the galaxy with nothing but a sarcastic and difficult computer named Peerssa for company. Their travels last for three million years on Earth, but are less than that on the ship due to the effects of Relativity and a stasis bed.

When Corbell and Peerssa make it back to Earth, but almost nothing about the solar system is recognizable - the sun is too big, the Earth's climate is radically changed, Jupiter is acting like a small sun, planets and moons are missing and orbits are not the same. But, this is earth and Corbell is determined to return home, even a home that is super-heated, dry and mostly de-populated.

The second part of the story is where the heart of the story lies. Corbell is now an old man exploring a world he barely recognizes...

Read more at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2012/...
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