Time Future

Posted by : atcampbell | On : March 12, 2002

Time Future by Maxine McArthur

Nine people attended this meeting, and three submitted comments by email. Time Future is a first SF novel by an Australian author. It involves a murder mystery on a space station with a female commander. Everyone at the meeting had read at least some of the book, and seven had finished it.

There was a lot to like about this book. The space opera setting and the tone of the book were old-fashioned fun. Commander Halley is a complex and interesting viewpoint character. The political background of the story was interesting, and it sewed the seeds for this story and possibly several sequels. The plot twists of the murder mystery had us engaged throughout. Some of thought it was cool that each chapter of the book takes place in an hour of real time, like the television series “24”.

There were some problems. The book’s first several chapters are primarily exposition, so the story moves very slowly until around page 125, when the murder is discovered. Some of us gave up on the book before that point. We also felt that Halley wasn’t convincing as an experienced commander, since she had real problems in delegating work.

Overall we thought Time Future was an interesting book and that Maxine McArthur is a talent to watch. Several in the group plan to read the sequel, Time Past, when it comes out later this year. After the meeting we had a nice dinner at Threadgill’s.

–A. T. Campbell, III