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The Winds of Time by Chad Oliver
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The Winds of Time

by Chad Oliver

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Far better written than most SF of the fifties in the US, but too flawed to be a classic. On the one hand, the two main characters are portrayed well, in solid thoughtful prose. Wes, a husband of modern (1950s) LA, more disgruntled with and disconnected from his life than he's initially aware of, and Arvon, a member of a crew of aliens, looking for hope for his home planet -- but not the old "resources are running out, we need to migrate" chestnut. What it is that the aliens are seeking is far enough into the story to leave behind the spoiler curtain. Those are the strong points. The weak points are several. First, and typical of 50's SF, is the almost complete lack of women. There's just one of any note, and she's primarily a prop for the story. Arvon may come from an advanced race, but apparently only men do the exploring. Second, and far worse, is the complete non-alien-ness of the aliens. The first scene, introducing them aboard their spaceship, is so Earth-like, I thought for almost a chapter that they were humans in a future timeline. At one point, it's claimed that many civilizations have evolved on different planets, and the process always leads to same human answer. Oliver knew better, I think. Finally, there's a glaring contradiction between the key plot resolution and the whole rationale of the alien quest.

For completists only. ( )
1 vote ChrisRiesbeck | Jul 30, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chad Oliverprimary authorall editionscalculated
Powers, DickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, RichardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shelton, DickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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