The Crucible Of Time
Copyright 1982 by
I first read this in December 1984 and most recently on the 12th February 2003.
On an alien world, a strange species develop from a primitive culture
to a space-faring civilisation. It's a long, heartbreaking
process. The planet is suffering increasing frequency of asteroid
impacts. Each time a major event occurs it destroys the
current civilisation, forcing a new civilisation to be rebuilt
from the ruins of the last.
The scientist Jing and his associates Rainbow
and Twig have learned enough about astronomy to understand what is
happening to their world. They are determined that this time their
knowledge will not be lost when the next meteor rocks their planet.
This is so far from being my kind of novel that I'm still surprised
I read it. I have no interest in reading the chronicles of an alien
species (especially these mobile mushrooms), and certainly none in one
without a relationship to our own.
However, I read it because it was by John Brunner, author of the
astounding "Stand On Zanzibar". I spent the first one hundred and
fifty or so pages thinking I should just give up.
Slowly I began to realize that I was developing something of an
attachment to these physically very odd, but intellectually human,
aliens in their terribly difficult struggle to escape their planet.
Not enough of an attachment, though, to make me enjoy the novel.
Loaded on the 28th February 2003.