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The Bird of Time by George Alec Effinger
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The Bird of Time (original 1986; edition 2014)

by George Alec Effinger

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Far into the future, Hartstein's graduation present from his grandparents was a wonderful trip ... into the past. He had a long future in the doughnut industry to look forward to but this trip was the icing on the cake. It had been a long time since that first experiment in time travel was successfully pulled off, although not without its flaws. Now, in the future, time travel was a lucrative tourist industry. But the time travel industry was keeping one little fact to itself: two percent never came back. This cover-up was the work of the Agency. The Agency knew what others did not: that the past wasn't really the past but a complicated dynamic of individual perceptions of what the past might have been. The past isn't real and reality becomes a state of mind. While selling their particular brand of escapist entertainment and vacation packages, the Agency didn't bother to tell its clients or the populace in general that a war was going on--a time war. The Agency was spending its time in a neck and neck battle with the Temporary Underground. The battlefield was none other than the space-time continuum, the weapons time shifts and theoretical mathematics. Hartstein had no idea what his trip would be or where it would take him.… (more)
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Title:The Bird of Time
Authors:George Alec Effinger
Info:Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, Kindle Edition, 176 pages
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The Bird of Time by George Alec Effinger (1986)

1 (1) 2 (1) 1986 (1) 2007 (1) 20080511 (1) alternate history (1) cyberpunk (1) dropbox (1) ebook (3) Europe (1) ex-library (1) fiction (6) George Alec Effinger (1) humor (1) initial (2) Jessies (1) Kindle (2) literary (1) Nick of Time (1) novel (2) pdf (1) science fiction (14) series (1) sf (8) sff (1) surreal (1) time travel (4) to-read (2) unread (1) wishlist (1)

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For their advice and encouragement over the years, this book is for Robert Silverberg and Edward L. Ferman and Shawna McCarthy.
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You know the shock of utter terror just as you're about to hand over a large sum of money for something you're no longer sure you really want.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Far into the future, Hartstein's graduation present from his grandparents was a wonderful trip ... into the past. He had a long future in the doughnut industry to look forward to but this trip was the icing on the cake. It had been a long time since that first experiment in time travel was successfully pulled off, although not without its flaws. Now, in the future, time travel was a lucrative tourist industry. But the time travel industry was keeping one little fact to itself: two percent never came back. This cover-up was the work of the Agency. The Agency knew what others did not: that the past wasn't really the past but a complicated dynamic of individual perceptions of what the past might have been. The past isn't real and reality becomes a state of mind. While selling their particular brand of escapist entertainment and vacation packages, the Agency didn't bother to tell its clients or the populace in general that a war was going on--a time war. The Agency was spending its time in a neck and neck battle with the Temporary Underground. The battlefield was none other than the space-time continuum, the weapons time shifts and theoretical mathematics. Hartstein had no idea what his trip would be or where it would take him.

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