Monday, May 26, 2008

The Time Engine-Sean McMullen

The Time Engine
Sean McMullen
Tor, Jul 2008, $26.95
ISBN 9780765318763

In 3144 Wayfarer Inspector Danolarian Scryverin had just completed his patrol in the West Quadrant. He stopped at the Mermaid’s Slipper for an ale by himself to reflect about the year of change. He thinks back to the Lupan invasion of Greater Alberin leading to his squad member Riellen preaching electocracy, winning the government power, leading to the expulsion, and finally changing the calendar so that tomorrow what would have been 3145 is now 1 YE (Year of Electocracy).

His musing ends when Lady Velender holding the cat Constable Wallas enters the tavern. Soon afterward, he learns the hard way that she has abducted him into the future along with Wallas and they are on the run while trying to learn how she did it and more important why she did it. He also knows that before he can return to his time and place, he must somehow go to the past to complete a basic law of physics, the circle of causality. He lands in a world rumored to be paradise unless you are the focus of 5000 naked horsemen who apparently have your access home, THE TIME ENGINE; obtaining it does not automatically mean returning.

The action obviously takes place in the future and the past, but in both periods it never slows down for even a nanosecond even with sidebars explaining the somewhat convoluted tale. Fans of the series will appreciate the fourth Moonworlds Saga (see VOIDFARER) as Danolarian is caught in dangerous yet Three Stooges like scenarios.

Harriet Klausner

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