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The Big Time by Fritz Leiber
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The Big Time (1958)

by Fritz Leiber

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9193714,361 (3.12)40
Member:ThomasWatson
Title:The Big Time
Authors:Fritz Leiber
Info:Publisher Unknown
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Big Time by Fritz Leiber (1958)

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» See also 40 mentions

English (34)  French (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
A closed door mystery in a setting where demons and ghosts are just as human in their fears and needs as any crime victim and survival is much more a matter of psychology than of power. Not much is actually happening in this recreation centre for soldiers wounded in a cosmic war between time travellers, but the unraveling and unpicking of the characters, their lives and the horrors they went through as well as the relationships between them is definitely worth a read.

Again an excellent librivox audiobook read by Karen Savage. ( )
  DeusXMachina | Jan 9, 2019 |
Kelsey Cretcher's review below pretty much nailed it, though I liked it only slightly better.

Plot? Not interesting, barely there.
Characters? Not interesting, barely there.
Evocative atmosphere, immortal prose, etc.? Not a chance.

It reads like a novelisation of some 1950s anthology sci-fi series, pre-Twilight Zone. It's slim, not very important, not terribly well-done. And to call it a thrilling "saga" as one book cover does is ludicrous. You may as well call the "Old Mother Hubbard" nursery rhyme "an astonishing new series." ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Sep 19, 2018 |
Greta Forzane is an Entertainer, a sort of USO worker for the soldiers fighting in the Change War, a mighty struggle to determine the course of history. The controlling forces in this war are known to their human forces only as Spiders and Snakes; Greta's with the Spiders. She works in an R&R facility for Spider forces coming off rough duty. Some soldiers arrive straight from combat, and then some more arrive, this time non-humans, bringing an atomic bomb intended for use in changing the outcome of a conflict deep in Earth's past. Tensions amongst the ill-matched group run high--and then they find that their Place has been cut off from the rest of reality, and the machine that did it, which is also the machine which maintains the existence of the Place, has vanished. While trying to solve this very alarming problem, these people learn entirely too much about each other, and possibly even about themselves. In the end, I concluded that I didn't much like any of them, but that really didn't matter while I was reading. Recommended.
( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
The Snakes and the Spiders are two sides in a time-war spanning billions of years. The Soldiers in this war get some R&R time in between missions in Places outside space and time run by Entertainers. The winds of Change blow through even the void and this Place, carrying their effects (changed histories) so that the characters (called Demons because they’re taken from their timelines and operate outside them) feel themselves changing from instant to instant. The story is told from the point of view of Greta, an Entertainer.

I know I’m not explaining it very well, but it’s an interesting premise. Unfortunately, I’m not entirely sure what I just read. ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
There are moments of genius in this book. Leiber is like neighbor who has a cool car, a secret job and is really good with knives. He's interesting but tell the kids to stay out of his yard. ( )
  ikeman100 | May 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fritz Leiberprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lehr, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palma, DeniseCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
von Zitzewitz, HootCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My name is Greta Forzane. Twenty-nine and a party girl would describe me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Do not combine "The Big Time" with the Ace Double Edition of "The Big Time" / "The Mind Spiders".



"The Big Time" was also published in Europe in two volumes ("The Big Time Book 1", in various languages); these should not be combined with the complete book "The Big Time".
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Haiku summary
A bomb lost in time,
Twelve people, trapped together,
Friends or enemies?
(DeusXMachina)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312890788, Paperback)

Fritz Leiber (1910-1992) is best known as a fantasy writer, but his achievements and influence are also considerable in the horror and science fiction fields. One of his major SF works is the Change War series, about rival time-traveling armies locked in a bitter, age-old war for control of existence; the battles frequently alter the course of human history. The most important work of Leiber's Change War series is the Hugo Award-winning novel The Big Time, in which doctors, entertainers, and wounded soldiers find themselves treacherously trapped with an activated atomic bomb inside the Place, a room existing outside of space-time. It's not one of Leiber's strongest novels: the cutesy-girlish narrative voice is unconvincing, while the demands of describing time travel and time paradoxes inevitably strain the prose. But The Big Time is a tense, claustrophobic SF mystery, and possibly the ultimate locked-room whodunit.

In addition to the Hugo, Nebula, Derleth, Lovecraft, and World Fantasy Awards, Fritz Leiber received the Grand Master of Fantasy (Gandalf) Award, the Life Achievement Lovecraft Award, and the Grand Master Nebula Award. --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:47 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Fritz Leiber (1910-1992) may be best known as a fantasy writer, but he published widely and successfully in the horror and science fiction fields. One of his major SF creations is the Change War, a series of stories and short novels about rival time-traveling forces locked in a bitter, ages-long struggle for control of the human universe where battles alter history and then change it again until there's no certainty about what might once have happened. The most notable work of the series is the Hugo Award-winning novel The Big Time, in which doctors, entertainers, and wounded soldiers find themselves treacherously trapped with an activated atomic bomb inside the Place, a room existing outside of space-time. Leiber creates a tense, claustrophobic SF mystery, and a brilliant, unique locked-room whodunit. In addition to the Hugo, Nebula, Derleth, Lovecraft, and World Fantasy Awards, Fritz Leiber received the Grand Master of Fantasy (Gandalf) Award, the Life Achievement Lovecraft Award, and the Grand Master Nebula Award.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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