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This ingenious little novel manages to be a clever time travel story, an engaging fantasy and a cautionary tale about nostalgia without being preachy That isn t easy because time travel as a literary landscape is littered with logical and ontological pitfalls, but Mr Crowley skillfully tiptoes along the fine line between satire and sermon The tone here is closer to Laumer than Moorcock, but it s really in its own league The prose is finer than what those two authors generally achieve and I This ingenious little novel manages to be a clever time travel story, an engaging fantasy and a cautionary tale about nostalgia without being preachy That isn t easy because time travel as a literary landscape is littered with logical and ontological pitfalls, but Mr Crowley skillfully tiptoes along the fine line between satire and sermon The tone here is closer to Laumer than Moorcock, but it s really in its own league The prose is finer than what those two authors generally achieve and I like them both and it s free of Laumer s flippancy and Moorcock s cynicism Ultimately, this is a book for those who love to read Much of the enjoyment is in the experience rather than the message That may sound like I m damning it with faint praise, but that s not my intention This book isn t for everyone, but if you re not burdened with preconceptions about what makes a good time travel story, the journey of Caspar Last will both impress and entertain you An interesting jaunt through time, not strictly backwards or forwards Focusing on the danger of stagnation in the form of perpetual peace and the equally dangerous notion that violence is a necessary means to a supposedly desirable end This is certainly not a book of answers, as both interfering with time, and leaving it alone, seem to have enormous and unpleasant repercussions Crowley somehow manages to weave otherworldly beings draconics, magi, angels , stamp collecting, the British Empi An interesting jaunt through time, not strictly backwards or forwards Focusing on the danger of stagnation in the form of perpetual peace and the equally dangerous notion that violence is a necessary means to a supposedly desirable end This is certainly not a book of answers, as both interfering with time, and leaving it alone, seem to have enormous and unpleasant repercussions Crowley somehow manages to weave otherworldly beings draconics, magi, angels , stamp collecting, the British Empire and the significance of plotting imaginary numbers into one brief but powerful little tale It amuses me, Sir Geoffrey said, how constant it is in human nature to think that things might have gone on differently from the way they did In a man s own life, first of all how he might have taken this or that very different route, except for this or that accident, this or that slight push if he d only known then, and so on And then in history as well, we ruminate endlessly, if, what if, if only The world seems always somehow malleable to our minds, or to our imaginations anyway ThisIt amuses me, Sir Geoffrey said, how constant it is in human nature to think that things might have gone on differently from the way they did In a man s own life, first of all how he might have taken this or that very different route, except for this or that accident, this or that slight push if he d only known then, and so on And then in history as well, we ruminate endlessly, if, what if, if only The world seems always somehow malleable to our minds, or to our imaginations anyway This novella is mostly the unusual adventures of an antediluvian secret society, like the anarchist one from Chesterton s The Man Who was Thursday, except its quite state obedient and is run by the likes of Rip Hunter s Time Masters with a Victorian agenda not letting the Sun reach any west over the great Empire More like an Adjustment Bureau functioning behind a Narnia cupboard unaffected by Time and Space Tiring at times with all the orthogonal logic of past and future, mirthless even, having it all explained in comported polished long sentences But hang on till the splintered timeline starts making sense and enjoy the ride.I happened to read the free sample chapter and immediately buy myself the rest then and there itself, rather unusual of me And later learned the very existence of Cecil Rhodes, who wanted a secret society to ensure supremacy of British Empire over centuries, intriguing conspiracy theory material there Also multiverse, negated past timelines, finding one self over time, manipulation of history in this brilliant, hugger mugger tale.Like those very time travelers who returned to a present, not truly the one they departed from, post read me seems to have returned to a better bitter self Definitely going to re read and with my limited knowledge I would like to classify this as advanced read in the time travel genre.https 10thandnoble.wordpress.com 20 A small gem of a time travel story focused on the British Empire keeping its world domination and maintaining its African colonies.It s cleverly constructed and beautifully written with a at times complex language, which challenges a reader like me who not native English spoken.It s probably a book I will return to and enjoy eventhe second time around. A mind boggling, highly literate take on time travel, the necessity of evil, and the character of British rule It would be a mistake to dimiss this as a simple mobius story it scomplex and thoughtful than that description implies, and at novella length, richer than most longer works. Absolutely have to reread this every five years or so The most intricate and haunting time travel story I ve ever encountered, impossible to describe or remember, for that matter.Please be aware that you can also find it in Novelties and Souvenirs Collected Short Fiction A devastating novel about imperialism and time travel A little gem. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here This review also appears on FingerFlow.com, a site for review and discussion of creative works Consider the following scenario you are granted one trip to any time in the past You cannot bring anything with you to the past or back to the future that will not fit in your pocket You must take extreme care not to alter history or to alter it as little as possible How would you make yourself rich Buying the stock of a rich company in escrow for your unborn self wouldn t work and buying rare a This review also appears on FingerFlow.com, a site for review and discussion of creative works Consider the following scenario you are granted one trip to any time in the past You cannot bring anything with you to the past or back to the future that will not fit in your pocket You must take extreme care not to alter history or to alter it as little as possible How would you make yourself rich Buying the stock of a rich company in escrow for your unborn self wouldn t work and buying rare artifacts would be impossible without acquiring currency from that time period.Caspar Last faces this question in John Crowley s novella, Great Work of Time He invents a time machine, and quite practically, feels he should benefit monetarily from it And he comes up with a pretty clever scheme he travels back over 100 years into the past to acquire a rare stamp that he will either sell at auction or to the owner of the only other existing example of this stamp who would presumably pay to have it destroyed to preserve the value of his own stamp.Soon after his return from the past, Last is approached by the President pro tem for the time being of a secret society called the Otherhood and asked to hand over his time machine Though he tries to refuse, Last s protest is over before it begins the President had travelled from the future using Last s own machine, meaning that, at some point in the Otherhood s past and somewhere in Last s future, the act of handing over the time machine had already occurred And if you thought that point was confusing, it getscomplicated the Otherhood suspected that Last wouldn t accept a cash offer for his machine while he was in possession of a rare stamp, so they planted a fake price guide in his home to fool him into thinking that his trip had altered the future, making his once valuable stamp worthless Professor Last, being a genius of orthogonal logic, had anticipated that his trip could alter history in some minor way, so, with no other alternative, he agrees to sell his time machine for a generous price.Though the episode between Last and the President is an entertaining enough story in itself, it makes up only a small part of a much larger narrative about altering history and the responsibility a person has to the world, a complicated concept when possible worlds can become actual worlds Denys Winterset, a loyal and devoted citizen of the world spanning British Empire, is asked by an enigmatic man named Davenant to join the Otherhood He learns of the secret history of the Otherhood that Cecil Rhodes, an imperialist and entrepreneur, left a sum of money in his will to create a secret society charged with the extension and preservation of the British Empire Winterset is made to understand that the world he knows exists only because of the machinations and manipulations of the Otherhood He also learns of the Original Situation where the minor war of 1914 became the Great War of our reality This war, of course, led directly into the next World War, with the total result being the death of many millions, the invention of atomic weapons and the Cold War Winterset is appalled by this information and is convinced to join the secret society to preserve the Empire he loves and the affluent, peaceful world the Empire ensures Inside the club of the Otherhood, which exists outside of time, the actions necessary to create his world have yet to occur and Winterset is given an assignment vital to the existence of his altered world the assassination of Cecil Rhodes before the wealthy imperialist changes his will in 1893 and removes the Otherhood s endowment.Meanwhile, the President pro tem has traveled into the future, breaking a cardinal rule of the Otherhood, and finds a world diverging significantly from the world the Otherhood was trying to create This world is inhabited by creatures quite different from humans lizard men called Draconics, angelic, faerie like beings and ominous, wise hominids calling themselves Magi And the President loves it The world is stark, strange, fantastical and eccentric, but it somehow feels right to the President, as if that is how the world should be The only way this world could have been created was by breaking another one of the rules of the Otherhood traveling to a time before the death of Cecil Rhodes The fabric of this world has been made weak due to the constant changes in the timeline, creating fluctuations in reality that would eventually destroy it The angels, the oldest race on this world and most sensitive to the manipulations of time, reveal to the President the end result of the Otherhood s actions a world consisting of only a large, dark forest, with roots descending into the ocean No creatures, no life, no change.As right as the world may seem to him, he is convinced by a Magus and an angel that he must restore the original timeline In order to achieve this, the President would have to break a third rule of the Otherhood by traveling to a point in time he had already been to the assassination of Cecil Rhodes To prevent the creation of the Otherhood, the President would have to stop his younger self, Denys Winterset from killing Rhodes Because Crowley is such a brilliant crafter of stories, he doesn t give us an easy ending once the President s identity is revealed In a twisted denouement, a third Winterset in a world where the Original Situation had occurred discovers an older version of himself living in Africa This older version recounts the story of his life to the younger Winterset how he had been sent to kill Rhodes and how a distraction prevented him from doing so a distraction he believed to have been created with the intent of stopping him, thus restoring the world to the way it was supposed to be, but stranding him in the past.John Crowley deftly manages to present a complicated scenario in a way which doesn t bewilder and confuse the reader Time travel is tricky to convey and there were moments during my reading of Great Work of Time when I thought I should go back and reread previous sections, but I plowed ahead and Crowley found a way to bring everything full circle by the end Even so, I look forward to coming back to this story and reading it again, not only because of intricate and fascinating plot, but also the richness of the language Crowley deliberately uses intricate language while keeping things vague, having the effect of mystifiying you and making you savor every word Each sentence reflects the time and thought put into its construction they are not merely describing the action Perhaps most impressively, Crowley takes the reader to different worlds and time periods, introducing a variety of characters and circumstances, and yet the reader doesn t lose the thread of the story.What s particularly endearing about Great Work of Time are the unexpected places Crowley takes this far from standard time travel story The opening chapter about Casper Last and his quest for riches seems quite distant from Winterset s struggle with killing a man to create a better world Evenshocking was the world of the future a fantasy world which should have seemed out of place in a science fiction story, but didn t Last s desire to improve his lot in life, a desire anyone could understand, seems small and petty when compared to the mission of the Otherhood, to create a world in which everyone s lot in life is improved However, the President s reaction to the future world reveal a corruption of the Otherhood s mission the world of strange races, rigid hierarchies and no change are appealing to the President This future world feels proper and correct to him, and so the objective of an organization to better the world is subjugated to the personal feelings of one man Last s purpose in creating his time machine was to fulfill his own desires, and the President discovers that the future was built upon the desires of one man as well himself Winterset, in his different incarnations, is driven by the responsibility he feels toward bettering the world Ultimately, this is what drives him to travel into the past to kill Rhodes It is also what causes him to return to that time period and prevent the killing For all the good that the Otherhood is trying to achieve, Winterset realizes that men cannot guide the entire world, for they will guide it to oblivion I wonder if the final pages of the story, where the younger Winterset smuggles the older, time traveling Winterset out of Africa and into England, is the author s obtuse way of saying that a man is not responsible for the entire world, but is responsible for helping himself If you ve read my reviews you know I dislike time travel stories immensely The only exception to my rather inflexible mindset has been Tim Powers The Anubis Gates But lo Then there were two John Crowley s Great Work of Time is the first book by Crowley I ve ever finished I have tried reading Little, Big twice it just didn t do it for me Great Work of Time paradoxically makes sense to the extent anything can of time travel It is well written and thought provoking Now I must reevaluat If you ve read my reviews you know I dislike time travel stories immensely The only exception to my rather inflexible mindset has been Tim Powers The Anubis Gates But lo Then there were two John Crowley s Great Work of Time is the first book by Crowley I ve ever finished I have tried reading Little, Big twice it just didn t do it for me Great Work of Time paradoxically makes sense to the extent anything can of time travel It is well written and thought provoking Now I must reevaluate Crowley and read something else by him `Download Book ☔ Wielkie dzieło czasu ☜ Niezwyk a antologia intryguj cych opowiada , kt rych motywem przewodnim jest czas Najciekawsi i najpoczytniejsi tw rcy wsp czesnej literatury ameryka skiej snuj zaskakuj ce opowie ci o uwik aniu cz owieka w czasie Czy mo na naprawi b dy przesz o ci Jak przesz o wp ywa na tera niejszo Czy przysz o jest ustalona, a my realizujemy tylko rozpisane ju scenariusze Co czuliby my, przemieszczaj c si swobodnie po przesz ych i przysz ych epokach R norodne tematycznie, zaskakuj ce fabu y opowiada intryguj , wzruszaj i bawi Wielkie dzie o czasu zawiera w wi kszo ci najnowsze utwory tak znanych i lubianych w Polsce autor w jak Ted Chiang, Kelly Link, Lucius Shepard czy Robert Reed oraz wielu innych Ca o zosta a zainspirowana wy mienit nowel Johna Crowleya pod tym samym tytu em, kt ra przynios a jej tw rcy presti ow World Fantasy AwardZawarto Kate Wilhelm The Man on the Persian Carpet Cory Doctorow A Place So Foreign Terry Bisson Scout s Honor Robert Reed Truth Thomas M Disch Ringtime Pat Cadigan Truth and Bone Lucius Shepard Kirikh quru Krokundor Ted Chiang Kupiec i wrota alchemika , Exhalation John Crowley Great Work of Time Jan Lars Jensen The Secret History of the Ornithopter Wayne Wightman A Different Country Kelly Link The Wrong Grave