WORLDS ENOUGH AND TIME by Joe Haldeman

WORLDS ENOUGH AND TIME

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Third of Haldeman's trilogy, as insipid and lackluster as Worlds and World Apart, except where the closing chapters burst into technicolor with another memorable set of Haldeman's patented all-but-omnipotent aliens. The trilogy's protagonist, Marianne O'Hara, leaves Earth and its orbiting Worlds aboard a huge interstellar ship, Newhome (Earth, ravaged by nuclear war and disease, will take decades to recover). A computer-constructed artificial personality based on O'Hara helps with the narrative duties, to no great effect. She has two husbands and a wife. She's heavily involved in shipboard politics, which secretly are organized to give the voters an illusion of choice while ensuring that the real decisions remain undisputed. Ho-hum. On the voyage, various things go wrong: A computer virus beamed from the Earth-orbiting New New York scrambles most of their data; a plague kills off all the plants, so most people retire into cold sleep. Half a century later, the ship reaches its destination, and at last the plot perks up: The planet is inhabited by advanced aliens who threaten to exterminate what remains of humanity unless O'Hara passes their psychological tests. She does, and civilization is reborn. Disappointing work from a writer whose narrative charm and plotting skills are rarely enriched by characters to match: here, O'Hara is an utterly boring and unconvincingly female narrator, and only the splendid aliens save this one from total lethargy.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1992
ISBN: 0-688-09025-7
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1992




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