Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Book Review: The Walking Shadow

Moving towards the end of the 70's in my reading of David Pringle's Science Fiction: The 100 Best Books, Brian Stableford's The Walking Shadow (1979) takes a look at issues of time travel, futurism, and the question of destiny.

The book focuses on Paul Heisenberg, the author of a book called Science and Metascience and a scientific celebrity who, in front of thousands of people, appears to have been replaced by a perfect silver statue of himself. The statue is actually a sort of placeholder, and over a century later is replaced by Heisenberg again, who hasn't aged a day.

He now finds himself in a dystopian future, one in which many others have discovered how to jump forward in time, and who now view him as a sort of prophet. Upon awakening different factions of the government attempt to bend him to their cause while revolutionaries work to set him free.

The novel follows Heisenberg through his jumps across time and go to places few of us would expect to be waiting in our planet's future. I really don't want to go into specifics as part of the novel's structure works to have him figure out his new surroundings and attempt to find his place in it.

A fascinating read, and not likely to be my last from Stableford.

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