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Titre : RAINBOW MARS
Éditeur : Tor ., New York
Date d'édition : 1999
Reliure : Hardcover
Etat de la jaquette : Dust Jacket Included
Signé : Signed by Author(s)
Edition : 1st Edition
Octavo, boards. First edition. Signed by Niven. A fine copy in fine dust jacket. (#93524). N° de réf. du libraire 93524
Synopsis : Five-time Hugo Award winner Larry Niven weaves together time travel and fantasy to create an utterly unique novel on the origin of the Martian "canals." Thought-provoking, vivid, viciously smart, and wildly funny, Rainbow Mars is sci-fi at its best.
Hanville Svetz was born into a future to match the sorriest predictions of Greenpeace. Most of Earth's original life forms are extinct. It is Svetz's job to go back in time and retrieve them, or at least it was until his Institute for Temporal Research was transferred. Now, with a new boss obsessed with stars and planets, Svetz must figure out why the Martian canals have gone dry and what that means for Earth's future.
Because Mars was inhabited. When Svetz learns how the sapient Martian species were wiped out, he realizes that Earth could soon fall victim to a similar fate. Together with his dog, Wrona, a visitor from the distant past, and Miya, an astronaut with her own complex history, Svetz must struggle to unravel a puzzle that will tax not just his rational mind, but the very limits of his imagination.
Critique: According to Larry Niven, time travel is logically impossible--sheer fantasy. So when time-agent Svetz heads back from polluted future Earth in search of extinct animals, he tends to sideslip into fantastic, fictional worlds. In short stories collected in The Flight of the Horse (1973), his quests for a horse, a Gila monster, and a whale unearthed a unicorn, a dragon, and Moby-Dick. Less comic but equally daft, Rainbow Mars combines both space and time travel to explore Mars in the deep past, before it was a dead world. Naturally it's populated by a menagerie of warring fictional Martians from Edgar Rice Burroughs (multi-armed sword-wielders), H.G. Wells (tentacles and heat rays), and less familiar authors. Svetz and companions are soon in big trouble. Complications include a gigantic alien tree extending into Mars's orbit--an organic version of the space elevator in Arthur C. Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise. One of these useful "beanstalks" on Earth seems a highly desirable facility, but there are hidden drawbacks, and most of the multiplying timelines lead to disaster. This is fun for experienced SF readers who can follow the in-jokes and the switchback ride through tangled alternative histories. The earlier, even funnier Svetz stories are included as a bonus. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk
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