Thursday, September 8, 2016

Timescape by Gregory Benford

Rating: WARTY!

I'm a sucker for a good time-travel story, Unfortunately, this wasn't! It sucked big time. It was tediously slow-moving and could have been about half the length it was if all the fluff had been vacuumed out of the corners. Seriously, do I really want to know that someone is taller than someone else but the other person is only five feet six anyway? No, not unless it's important to the story or an important part of a character's make-up!

Do I really need another story which rambles on about someone's obsession with coffee? No! Do I really need to read a whole chapter about some ruffian harassing an old woman because he has nothing and she's reasonably well-to-do? No! Not when you already told me the situation was dire. Please, dispense with this and get on with the sci-fi story I wanted to listen to in the first place!

Yes, this was another experimental audiobook, and the experiment failed, as many of these do. The readers voices, Simon Prebble and Pete Bradbury were not great, but not dire. The story was the problem, and it felt like listening to Professor Benford giving an insufferably rambling lecture on astrophysics at the University of California. Yuk! I feel bad for his students - assuming he still has any!

I didn't finish this because I don't waste time on stories which don't grip me. Life is far too short and books are way too many! That doesn't mean I don't owe an explanation as to why I didn't finish it, and the reason was as indicated. The story was ponderously slow. It took many chapters before anything happened. The novel needed to start at the point where contact was first made - hazy as it was - between 1998 and 1962. I didn't need a multi-chapter prologue which was tiresome at best. I cannot recommend this one.