A BRIDGE OF YEARS by Robert Charles Wilson


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 Beautifully turned time-travel yarn from the highly promising author of Gypsies (1988) and The Divide (1990). Engineer Tom Wilson, suffering from divorce and alcoholism, buys a secluded cottage on the northwest coast of the US in which to recuperate and reflect -- only to discover that the cottage is one end of a time-tunnel leading to 1963 New York! The tunnel is maintained by weird machine bugs who warn Tom of danger at the tunnel's 1963 end. Tom--of course, he investigates--finds the 1963 end damaged, but goes on to take up residence there and falls in love. Meanwhile, back in 1989, neighbors Doug Archer and Catherine Simmons learn that Billy, a soldier with body armor and deadly weapons, has killed the tunnel's guardians and retreated to 1963 in an attempt to escape the horrors of his native 21st century. Now, some surviving machine bugs have rebuilt the 1989 guardian, Ben Collier, who hails from the 22nd century (beings from still farther in the future actually built the tunnels as a form of historical research). When Billy learns of Tom's arrival in 1963, and Ben's revival in 1989, he decides not only to kill Tom but also to return to 1989 to finish the job, despite his fear of the incorporeal ``time ghosts'' sometimes to be encountered in the tunnel. So Tom, Ben, Archer, and Catherine gather in 1989, hoping desperately that Ben's miraculous machine bugs can defend them against poor crazed Billy. Logically developed, superbly plotted: altogether a fascinating adventure.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-385-41936-8
Page count: 348pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1991


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