Silverberg, Robert. Project Pendulum.

NY: Walker, 1987.

I have a thing for time-travel stories, and Silverberg’s own Up the Line is one of the best. But this short novel (less than 200 pages), which my local library shelves in the Juvenile section, is kind of a waste of time.

Eric and Sean are twins in their mid-20s, one a graduate physicist, the other an anthropologist. They’ve been recruited for a government project because time travel requires balance, in the form of a matched pair of travelers, one moving into the future while the other travels an equal distance into the past. Then they both reverse directions, the next swing being ten times as far as the previous one. Keep this up, and they will eventually visit the Earth of 95 million years before and after our own time. And that’s really all the book is — a series of very short chapters about their unconnected experiences on each swing of the pendulum. There’s no continuity, really — can’t be, given the premise. The tension is minimal, and the last line is “They were going to have plenty to tell each other.” And that’s it. It’s like Silverbob had this idea and then spent a boring Saturday afternoon doodling around with it over beer and nachos.

Published in: on 11 November 2014 at 4:42 am  Leave a Comment  

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