May 4, 2011

End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov

End of Eternity

Well now, that wernt half bad. Nothing like a little classic, 50s-style time travel sf to kill an afternoon. Asimov can spin a yarn, and I always enjoy his style.

So, time-as-place. I have to admit, I'm easily fuddled by the paradoxes of time travel stories. I follow along without too much problem, but I never can figure out the ending before running into it. I did enjoy this particular take on it. Just utopian enough to make the final actions slightly suspect, but still welcomed. I found the details, well, charming for lack of a better word. Smoking, and its place in history. The different fashions that each eternal learned to deal with. The ever-present class issues, even at play in the timeless world of the time travelers.

I always enjoy dipping into the classics. There's often a reliance on the Idea, rather than the Story, carrying the main burden. And that's a good thing! A few too many of the more current dystopian novels I read seem to think that all the ideas are set in stone, and the only thing that remains is to pile on (most gory) details in order to hide borrowed concepts. Sometimes that works out better than you would expect. And I'm not saying that all the sf classics are these amazing pieces of work that blow the new stuff away by any means. Just that it's a different style and I enjoy both in their turn.

Honestly, I'm sketchy on Asimov (I always preferred Heinlein and Bradbury), having mostly delved into his Robots and short stories I came across in collections. I haven't read the Foundation series, but this novel got me interested, so I'll be picking those up when I run across them.

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