Prelude to Eternity

Prelude to Eternity: A Romance of the First Time Machine by Brian Stableford

published by Borgo Press, 2009

This novel is mazy, which is appropriate, since its finale takes place in a maze. The central character is Michael Laurel, a young artist, who is in love. It is 1822, but the history known to the characters does not quite tally with our own. Michael is attending a house party at a country house in Yorkshire. The host is the father of Cecilia, with whom Michael is in love. The other guests include a violinist, a mesmerist and the inventor of a time machine.

As the house party gets underway, the various characters discuss time travel at length. None of them seem to completely understand how it could work, but several of them pretend they do. I don’t understand it either, but I doubt that it matters. I understood the characters, sensed their feelings and motivations, and enjoyed the interplay between them. And the book not only made me think, but allowed me to enjoy the process.

There is gentle humour, and there is a lot of thoughtful speculation about the implications of some scientific and pseudoscientific theories. There is clever wordplay, and the plot has a playful feel, as well. However, everything is integrated, nothing is superfluous. Michael, although he becomes wiser by the end, is quite believably a young man in love for the first time. His actions, motivated by love and decency, are also credible, making this a properly enjoyable tale.

Review by Sally Startup

Advertisements

About sallystartup

I am a greenish person with thoughtful tendencies. I write fiction that sometimes has green or herbal themes.
This entry was posted in Fiction and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s