In my recent trip to the beach, I took along my old copy of Robert Sawyer's End of An Era, a science ficton novel set in both the near future and the distant past. Ten years ago, when I read it for the first time, I was impressed enough by the work that I've been on a Robert Sawyer kick ever since.
A little about the story... In the not-so-distant future, a team of two scientists are sent back on a first, experimental mission into the past, to study and resolve questions regarding the fall of the dinosaurs at the end of the Jurassic. Old friends these two are, but there are recent, and large, strains on their relationship: a divorce, an affair, family illness, to name a few. So, perhaps sending them into the past together is not the best idea, but they have to make do with each other--and what they find.
Sawyer clearly and concisely reviews the theories regarding the extinction of the dinosaurs, and introduces his own...I grant you, with no real evidence, but it makes for an entertaining spin. Along the way, time travel paradox issues are also touched upon, as well as current issues such as public science funding, the economy, and AIDS. The story makes for an entertaining and quick read, and the main character is portrayed as flawed, yet likeable, and intelligent. Hard science fiction, this is not...but that's OK, as the introduction of new concepts and spins on classic problems make this a keeper.
Sawyer containues to be one of the authors I try to keep up with these days, and I do recommend this book to science fiction fans.