Mar 1, 2011

Charles L. Harness - The Paradox Men (or Flight into Yesterday)

Alar the thief, the man without memory, is confronted with Haze-Gaunt, chancellor of Imperial America. This one likes petting his tarsier, that stares from his shoulder with a terrified expression. We are in the XXII century. Society is quite advanced as far as technology and space travel are concerned, but it has reinstated slavery and the sword fights are common.

The hero, Alar, can not remember who he was or what happened before leaving his destroyed spaceship, five years earlier. Apparently, the ship, faster than light, had come full circle to the world, traveling into the past, to reach the Earth five years before its release. The tarsier, now Haze-Gaunt's pet, also comes from that spacecraft. Alar has strange powers, like a human being highly 'evolved', while the tarsier is possibly a human being who has evolved. Who's Alar? And besides, who is the tarsier? As the novel moves toward its denouement, the launch of the spacecraft, these questions are of increasing importance and the fate of humanity depends on the answers.

Short book, great ideas, although its prose doesn't specially stand out, Harness used quite playfully Einstein's physics and and the cyclical theory of history Arnold Toynbee in this particular parable of human transcendence.

 Charles L. Harness was born in Texas in 1915. He has degrees in chemistry and law, and worked as a patent lawyer in Connecticut and Washington D.C. for more than thirty-five years. He was first published in 1947—and he is still producing exciting and refreshing science fiction tales.
During this impressive time span, he produced eleven novels and more than thirty shorter works (often in the form of novellas and novelettes). His stories are characterized by Byzantine plots and myriad baroque ideas, through which serious social themes are woven. He writes about love and transcendence, humanity and hope.

1 comment:

  1. Me gustan éste tipo de novelas. Te hacen pensar en lo que es y no es y lo que fué y jamás será con las axiómicas leyes físicas de nuestro universo :D


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