The Crucible of Time

The Crucible of Time

3.69 (815 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback

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Life became unpredictable for the people of a doomed world crawling across the rubble-strewn arm of a spiral galaxy. For as their system moved into the galaxy's arm, their star swept up all manner of cosmic debris. The only hope of long-term survival was to abandon the planet, and get more

Product details

  • Hardback | 473 pages
  • 111.76 x 172.72 x 38.1mm | 249.47g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Orbit
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0099348500
  • 9780099348504

Review Text

A splendid, heartwarming alien multi-generation saga - and unusually upbeat for a British sf master who's perhaps best known for such dystopic visions as Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up. Brunner's unnamed alien race, evolved from arboreal ancestors, has plastic bodies kept rigid by pressurized tubules, and many-layered minds - but when hungry, stressed, or exhausted, they retreat into dream-fugues, losing their reason to become primitive, savage animals. Their technology, medieval at first, develops into a delightful, original blend of physical science and bioengineering. But, every time they break through into new areas of knowledge, disasters - asteroid strikes, climatic changes, mutation-induced infertility - occur, throwing them back towards barbarism. Their unnamed planet, you see, is hurtling towards a region of the galaxy where new suns are being born; consequently, space is full of gas, rocks, comets, and other planet-threatening debris. So, following each disaster, they claw their way back to sanity and civilization, aware that for their race to survive they must eventually escape into space. Assured in the telling, logically and impeccably detailed, and beautifully thought out, even to the fascinating alien personalities, speech patterns, and thoughts: Brunner in top form. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

815 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 22% (183)
4 39% (315)
3 28% (227)
2 8% (69)
1 3% (21)
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