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La Fin de l'éternité by Isaac Asimov
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La Fin de l'éternité (original 1955; edition 2002)

by Isaac Asimov

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2,441552,530 (4.02)58
Member:ubermuda
Title:La Fin de l'éternité
Authors:Isaac Asimov
Info:Gallimard (2002), Poche, 352 pages
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The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov (1955)

  1. 61
    The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (codeeater)
  2. 00
    Great Work of Time by John Crowley (whiten06)
    whiten06: Two great time-travel novels with similar premises
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» See also 58 mentions

English (46)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Russian (1)  German (1)  English (55)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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  ronchan | Nov 14, 2016 |
Colonial studies have been part of the curriculum for over two decades at literature faculties on universities across the globe. I wonder how many professors and scholars realize lots of science fiction can also be considered as literature that deals with colonialism. There’s the obvious Prime Directive in mainstream culture’s Star Trek. There’s a variant of that in Banks’ Culture novels: how and when to intervene in other – technologically less developed – cultures? There’s Ursula Le Guin. China Miéville explored the theme a bit in Embassytown. And so forth… The fact that lots of SF deals with encountering and engaging with other, alien cultures makes it a perfect genre to explore real world colonial issues.

The End Of Eternity fits into this way of looking at SF as well. It is one of Asimov’s stand-alone novels, and is considered among his best by many. The protagonist is Andrew Harland, one of the few who live in Eternity, a location outside place and time, where “Eternals” enact “Reality Changes”, small, calculated shifts in the course of history made for the benefit of humankind. Though each Change is made for the greater good, there are also always costs.

For those who have read it, 1971’s The Lathe Of Heaven of Le Guin instantly springs to mind. I have written extensively about my view on utilitarianism – an important theme in both books – in Lathe's review, so I will not repeat those here. Le Guin is more overtly critical on the matter than Asimov, who doesn’t necessarily fault utilitarianism, but instead faults placid, safe, stale thinking, and pleads for ambition, difference, diversity and risk.

“Whom do you mean by ‘we’? Man would not be a world, but a million worlds, a billion worlds. We would have the infinite in our grasp. Each would have its own stretch of the Centuries, each its own values, a chance to seek happiness after ways of its own in an environment of its own. there are many happinesses, many goods, infinite variety… That is the Basic State of mankind.”

(...)

Please read the full review on Weighing A Pig ( )
1 vote bormgans | Aug 1, 2016 |
time travel ... yay! ( )
  GeetuM | Jun 3, 2016 |
time travel ... yay! ( )
  GeetuM | Jun 3, 2016 |
If there was a flaw in Eternity, it involved women. He had known the flaw for what it was from almost his first entrance in to Eternity, but he felt it personally only that day he had first met Noÿs. From that moment it had been an easy path to this one, in which he stood false to his oath as an Eternal and to everything in which he had believed.

An interesting take on time travel, in which the Eternals who change time for the greater good of humanity can never go home once they are recruited into Eternity, since subsequent changes affecting home century could have resulted in them never having existed. The annoying protagonist Anderw Harlan behaves nonsensically, but it more or less makes sense in the end. ( )
1 vote isabelx | Apr 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
The End of Eternity is a love story. Our questions about Andrew’s love are right. In the end as the mists melt — indeed by reflecting on Noÿs — we recognize what he has been and done. His mistakes are worse, and his character better, than we thought. We are left with a man who learns.

Asimov's spare prose is here at its height. It stands in his language, his focus. Hills of detail are at a stroke given to the imagination. Minds and hearts — and this is a novel of the mind and heart — are painted partly by silence, by the author's silence, by what is set before us and what goes unsaid. The reader, the re-reader, who looks, who notes, is rewarded. Theodore Sturgeon used to say "Science fiction is knowledge fiction." That is true not only of physical knowledge.
 

» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Asimov, Isaacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foss, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Andrew Harlan stepped into the kettle.
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If there was a flaw in Eternity, it involved women.  He had known the flaw for what it was from almost his first entrance in to Eternity, but he felt it personally only that day he had first met Noys.  From that moment it had been an easy path to this one, in which he stood false to his oath as an Eternal and to everything in which he had believed.  

For what?

For Noys.

And he was not ashamed.  It was that which really rocked him.  He was not ashamed.  He felt no guilt for the crescendo of crimes he had committed, to which the latest addition of the unethical use of confidential Life-Plotting could only rank as a pecadillo.  

He would do worse than his worst if he had to.

For the first time the specific and express thought came to him.  And though he pushed it away in horror, he knew that, having once come, it would return.

The thought was simply this:  That he would ruin Eternity, if he had to.

The worst of it was that he knew he had the power to do it.
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Andrew Harlan is an Eternal, a member of the elite of the future. One of the few who live in Eternity, a location outside of place and time, Harlan's job is to create carefully controlled and enacted reality changes. These changes are small, exactingly calculated shifts in the course of history, made for the benefit of humankind. Though each change has been made for the greater good, there are also always costs. During one of his assignments, Harlan meets and falls in love with No?s Lambent, a woman who lives in real time and space. Then Harlan learns that No?s will cease to exist after the next change, and he risks everything to sneak her into Eternity.… (more)

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