Friday, May 9, 2008

Time Spike-Eric Flint and Marilyn Kosmatka

Time Spike
Eric Flint and Marilyn Kosmatka
Baen, May 2008,
ISBN: 9781416555384

Supervisor Captain Mark Stephens was observing the guard mount shift changing at Illinois' maximum security prison when the ground rumbled. He and others assumed an earthquake occurred. However, looking outside, the geography has changed radically; The Mississippi river vanished and all evidence of human activity outside the prison like roads are gone. Instead they see strange looking flora and shockingly a dinosaur that uses the prison wall to scratch its skin.

Mark quickly concludes somehow they have been transported back in time to a pre-human era when dinosaurs ruled the planet. They are not alone as other people from various millennia have also gone back perhaps a million years. Some of those locked up are cold blooded killers and some from the other groups like conquistadores quickly prove human life is expendable. Mark and his staff know they have their backs against the wall as they deal with human killers and dinosaurs, but enforcing the law of thou shall not kill is critical for their survival.

The Assiti who relocated Grantville, West Virginia into seventeenth century Europe have stirred earth chronology again this time moving several periods into the dinosaur era although the displaced Illinois crowd is the prime focus. The story line will remind the audience of the first Ring of Fire tale as the story line is fast-paced and filled with action, but has not quite become overly complex with time paradoxes as later tales begin to have. Fans will appreciate this strong opening act of a new Assiti time experiment as humans continue to be their guinea pigs, but for Mark and his staff survival of the fittest means containing the violent prisoners and some as vicious other era travelers.

Harriet Klausner

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