peteg's blog - noise - books - 2020 09 16 JohnBrunner TimesWithoutNumber

John Brunner: Times Without Number.

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Kindle. And yet more thin Brunner. Time travel only sorta works when causality is given a wide berth. Brunner being Brunner we instead get an incoherent mess of sociological whatifery: the Spanish Armada wins, England is colonised, and time (but not space) travel devices are elementary to construct. The fashion is medieval, though the Inquisition has evolved. Structurally it's three novellas anchored by a bloke who just happens to be there; in more capable hands it may have lead to such innovations as Douglas Adams's infinite improbability drive. The ending is as pat and Planet of the Apes as it must be, but with a novel contention: any timeline that discovers time machines has no future.