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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

The Fury Out Of Time

Copyright 1965 by Lloyd Biggle Jr.

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this in 1969 and most recently on the 27th June 2004

Bowden Karvel, disabled ex-pilot, lives in a trailer park next to the Hatch Air Force base. He's bored and frustrated and spends his time hanging on the fringes of air-force life, drinking to fill his days.

When a UFO lands destroying houses and inhabitants, he is there to save the injured and to quickly divines from where and when this UFO has come. Indeed the UFO has arrived from the future and that is where Karvel will go to warn the UFO's owners of the immense destruction its passage causes.

In the far future, he makes a friend of the cute bearded lady "Languages 9-17", nicknamed Wilurzil and Marnox, a fellow pilot. Experiencing the cruel dictatorship of the time, his '60s American sense of justice and fair-play kicks in and starts the revolution before flying off once more to meet some aliens.

It's a busy time, but tough Karvel will struggle through to a successful conclusion, even if he kills off some of his companions through lack of forward thinking.

As a teenager, I thought it was pretty exciting. It had bundles of cool ideas: UFOs, time travel paradoxes, evil emperors, aliens, tough guys and surprisingly tough, but lovelorn, girlies, and lots of destruction, specifically the swathe of destruction wreaked every time the UFO lands.

Rereading it as a mature, responsible and deeply sophisticated adult, even with a shot of Tequila, revealed that it was weaker than I recalled. It does start off rather well, but much like H. G. Wells' "Time Machine" loses - in my terms - direction, drifting off into social commentary rather than revelling in the joy of technology unleashed. On the other hand I have the same criticism of the modern masterpiece "Alien Resurrection", so perhaps it's just my current mood.

Actually, Biggle is a very good story teller and this is a pretty enjoyable novel for the younger reader.

Loaded on the 14th August 2005.
Cover of The Fury Out Of Time
Cover art by David Davies

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