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This review is from Analog , the premiere SF magazine, and appears in the November 2006 issue. Link to the full review
Rick Sutcliffe's The General is the fourth volume in his Worlds of the Timestream: The Interregnum series. I reviewed the first volume, The Peace back in May 2001.<lengthy author and story summary deleted here> The Irish flavour is well handled. The Christianity, however, is not just cultural world-building. There is a good deal of God-talk, good boys and girls remain virgins till married, and liberalism is a corruption of the body politic... Yet you don't have to share his beliefs to enjoy the story. It works well as a multigenerational dynastic intrigue. The biggest flaw--one hardly unique to this series--is the way the author lapses into textbookish summary mode, telling the reader what happened rather than showing. And you can hardly beat the price!
--excerpted from a much longer review in The Reference Library by Tom Easton.
The Author replies: Despite part of the fictional masquerade being that this IS a texbook masquerading as a novel, Tom Easton is right on. That I am also a textbook author will of course come out at times. His other comments are a propos, as well, and I'm glad to have them. One of the overdone SF stereotypes is of Christians as hollow cardboard-cut-out establishment villains opposed nobly by irreligious liberal heroes. I have fun turning that upside-down at least some of the time, partly because SF writers should be iconoclasts. BTW, I've never met Tom, but have always relied on The Reference Library, enjoyed books he said were good stories, and I hope you will, too. Read him. He matters to SF, and is definitely impartial. Thanks a ton for the comments, Tom.
...an amazingly broad and well-conceived undertaking...a lot of depth and details
It's always a treat to read well-written Science Fiction, but the four volumes (so far) of Rick Sutcliffe's series "The World's of the Timestream: The Interegnum" go beyond that. Along with a good story he provides the reader with a work that examines the problem of evil - both in the world and in humanity, the unity of knowledge, the strengths of friendship, and the call of Christian discipleship in the modern society. Reading them has encouraged me both in my faith and my scholarship.
Well-suited for both adults and teens, these books are not "preachy" or trite. They draw the reader in with a good story and encourage them to examine themselves in the light of the trials of the main characters. The story only improves with the re-reading. I know. I've read them twice!"
--Michael Burkley (Pastor, Niagara Presbyterian Church Niagara Falls, NY)
A very enjoyable read! As before, I can't wait for the next volumes to appear. I find the stories as deep and wide as Tolkein or C.S. Lewis
--Steven Weyhrich Apple II History
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