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Timeless Time Travel Tales edited by Allan Kaster

01/03/2012. Contributed by Rod MacDonald

Buy Timeless Time Travel Tales edited in the USA - or Buy Timeless Time Travel Tales edited in the UK

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pub: Infinivox/Audiotexttapes. 8 CDs 9 hours. Price: $29.99 inc p&p (US). ISBN: 978-1-884612-98-5).

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Another collection of unabridged audio tales makes me wish I had Allan Kaster's job. A challenging and interesting task to choose material for audio presentations, it would involve reading and listening to lots of exciting stories in order to make the final selection. This collection involves time travel, in the past and in the future, with eight stories exploring the theme to great satisfaction. With the popularity of audio books on the increase, this company has played its share with several excellent offerings in the past and ‘Timeless Time Travel Tales’ continues the trend.

Nancy Kress, a well-known author from Seattle with over twenty books to her credit, gives us ‘And Wild For To Hold’ which involves Anne Boleyn, the unfortunate wife of Henry VIII, who was decapitated for her pleasures. In a strange twist of perspective, her life and that of others involved in traumatic events is examined by the historians of a distant future, involving a morality tale encompassing thousands of years. A very good story from a talented author.

Michael Swanwick from Philadelphia takes us on a completely different journey through time, back to the dinosaurs in fact, with ‘Scherzo With Tyrannosaur’. Things get turned upside down, up in the air and sideways through time in a tale involving a publicity stunt way back some 60 million years ago. There is a dinner party which we wouldn't want to be invited to, certainly not with some of the guests being predatory dinosaurs. Clever stuff which makes you think.

We've got a story about the Cuban crisis that took place in the early 1960s, almost resulting in a war between the East and West and was a pivotal moment in history. Had the Soviet ships not turned back, it could have been a nuclear war and we wouldn't be here to talk about it. This event is explored in Allan M. Steele's story, ‘The Observation Post’ which involves someone from the future examining the past only their presence is detected. How will this affect the future? Interesting stuff!

Written some six years ago, ‘Against The Current’ is a welcome story from Robert Silverberg. This author certainly needs no introduction. His writing speaks for itself! If you are a fan of this author then you've got to listen to this story. It involves a man going backward in time through his own history. At the present time, he is a relatively successful businessman in the automotive trade. How does he manage with a reversal in time? Quality fiction which is what you would expect from this author.

Ian R. MacLeod takes us to the South Pole with ‘Home Time’, 1912 to be exact. Of course, we all know at that time Captain Scott made an unsuccessful attempt to become the first to reach the South Pole and died in the process along with his team. Titus Oates walked out into the Antarctic wilderness and was never seen again. Other explorers, this time from the distant future, attempt to find Titus Oates. Do they succeed? A thrilling story from a very good writer.

Tom Purdom writes about the British Navy in the 19th century with ‘The Mists Of Time’, making up the octet of stories in this collection. The narration is consistently good throughout, as it has been with all the other productions from this company and the quality of this neat package is very reasonable.

A definite thumbs up for ‘Timeless Time Travel Tales’. If you like moving about in time, fictionally speaking, then this is for you. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Rod MacDonald

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