World Enough, and Time

reviewed by Michæl W. Bard
©2009 Michæl W. Bard

Home -=- #25 -=- Reviews
-= ANTHRO =-

Title: World Enough, and Time
Author: James Kahn
Publisher: Ballantine Books, Jan 198o
ISBN: 0886772923
224 pages
Sequels: Time’s Dark Laughter, Timefall

   The novel starts with a brief character introduction: A centaur and a human are friends, each have human wives, and the human has a family. The pair are away on a hunting trip when evil forces kidnap their wives and children, killing the other males in the household. The pair swear both revenge on the kidnappers, and to recover their families. All in all, it sounds like a fairly standard fantasy quest…
   …but! It turns out that the novel is not fantasy; rather, it’s science-fiction which occurs in the future. You can’t really call it ‘hard’ SF, but it’s definitely in the genre.
   And then it gets interesting. More characters are introduced and the world is fleshed out. Beasts have the mind of man, wars have occurred, civilization has collapsed, and man is dying out. All kinds of creatures are encountered, background is given, humans that were born in the 20th century but later had their brains transplanted into android bodies are introduced, and the novel meanders to the successful conclusion of the quest. Though, by the end, the quest doesn’t really matter anymore.
   It’s not a happy novel. Major characters die; people change, grow, decay. Civilization is destroyed, and histories wiped out by the revelation of truths. And yet, it’s fascinating—full of wondrous ideas and visions and thoughts.
   Ever since I read it, it’s always stayed in the back of my minds. Ideas from it have snuck their way into my fiction. It’s not perfect, but it is a fascinating page-turner of ideas. Enjoy it, treasure it… and ignore its two sequels.
   I’ve only read the second book, and while it does have the same characters at the first, it sucks. It’s nowhere near as good as the original, and its ending invalidates a lot of the impact of the first book. As for the third volume, I’ve heard nothing good about it; it apparently uses a completely different set of characters, and has no furry content. Ignore the second and third books, or read them at your own risk if you really, really want. They’re not recommended; the first one is.

Seen any furriness recently that you think other people should know about?
Whether it’s a novel, comicbook, movie, or whatever else, write a review and send it to Anthro!

Home -=- #25 -=- ANTHRO #17 Reviews
-= ANTHRO =-