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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

The Crucible Of Time

Copyright 1982 by John Brunner

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Awful (1/5)

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.
Cover of The Crucible Of Time
Cover art by Don Dixon

Reviews of other works with covers by Don Dixon:
Final Circuit

Reviews of other works with covers by Don Dixon and Don Puckey:
The Martian Race