Island in the Sea of Time Mass Market Paperback – 1 Mar 1998
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"A perfectly splendid story...endlessly fascinating...solidly convincing."--Paul Anderson
"A compelling cast of characters...a fine job of conveying both a sense of loss and hope."--Science Fiction Chronicle
"[Q]ite a good book...definitely a winner."--Aboriginal Science Fiction
"Meticulous, imaginative....Logical, inventive and full of richly imagined characters, this is Stirling's most deeply realized book yet."--Susan Shwartz, author of The Grail of Hearts
"Utterly engaging. This is unquestionably Steve Stirling's best work to date, a page-turner that is certain to win the author legions of new readers and fans."--George R. R. Martin, author of A Game of Thrones
"One of the best time travel/alternative history stories I've ever read, period. Stirling combines complex, believable characters, meticulous research, and a fascinating setup to produce a book you won't want to--and won't be able to--put down. An outstanding piece of work."--Harry Turtledove
"The adventure that unfolds, powered by Stirling's impressive stores of knowledge and extraordinary narrative skill, is an enormously entertaining read."--Virtual North Woods Website
A perfectly splendid story endlessly fascinating solidly convincing. Paul Anderson
A compelling cast of characters a fine job of conveying both a sense of loss and hope. Science Fiction Chronicle
[Q]ite a good book definitely a winner. Aboriginal Science Fiction
Meticulous, imaginative .Logical, inventive and full of richly imagined characters, this is Stirling s most deeply realized book yet. Susan Shwartz, author of The Grail of Hearts
Utterly engaging. This is unquestionably Steve Stirling s best work to date, a page-turner that is certain to win the author legions of new readers and fans. George R. R. Martin, author of A Game of Thrones
One of the best time travel/alternative history stories I ve ever read, period. Stirling combines complex, believable characters, meticulous research, and a fascinating setup to produce a book you won t want to and won t be able to put down. An outstanding piece of work. Harry Turtledove
The adventure that unfolds, powered by Stirling s impressive stores of knowledge and extraordinary narrative skill, is an enormously entertaining read. Virtual North Woods Website
About the Author
S. M. Stirling is the author of numerous novels, both on his own and in collaboration. A former lawyer and an amateur historian, he lives in the Southwest with his wife, Jan.
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Top Customer Reviews
The island characters and Coast Guard are very detailed. Stirling has caught the laconic "Down-Easter" personality very well, reflecting his annual vacations to the Island. He also created a memorable female character in the CoastGuard Captain, Marian Alston, a "black, female, ex-ranker, Southern, lesbian" with a highly developed sense of duty and a wry (mostly internal) sense of humor. Luckily, stranded on the Island are some other very useful characters including a Professor of History who's also a science fiction fan and an astronomer who uses her computer and star charts to figure "when" they are.
Adjusting to the "Event" as they call it, isn't easy but the town sheriff starts getting them motivated to grow their own food and make plans for survival. The Islanders accidentally wipe out most of the proto-Indians in the Boston area with the common cold, journey to England to trade for grain and foil the invasion plans of some war-like immigrants from the mainland of Europe.
Stirling's bio lists his love of history, martial arts and other hobbies and he uses them extensively as background detail.
I hated to get to the end of this book. In fact, I turned back to the first page and started in again. Please, please tell me S. M. Stirling is going to continue the story!!!
Where I felt it was weak was in the rather black and white portrayal of the characters. The good guys are unmistakeably good ( intelligent, omnicompetant, concerned etc etc) whilst the bad guys are either clueless patsies (Lisketter et al) or eeeeevil, self-centred, psychotics (Walker, Hong etc).
Now I recognise that to provide for some narrative conflict its helpful to have an identifiable baddie, but I think Stirling could have worked harder at providing some more shaded protagonists. The author could take some lessons from Kim Stanley Robinson on creating realistic, sympathetic characters whose conflicts arise out of differing value systems and philosophies - with neither side necessarily having a monopoly on intelligence or good will (or stupidity and selfishness for that matter)... As a left-leaning European (and thus probably most of the above in the eyes of a lot of Americans) I find Stirling rather small-c conservative. His sympathetic gay characters are a couple of lipstick lesbians rather than anything a bit more challenging to straight sensibilities for instance and he certainly has no truck with the sub-Rousseau 'noble savage' fantasies that underlie some 'PC' ideas concerning bronze and stone age life. I think the fact that most of the reviewers who express these opinions seem to admire the sociopathic Walker is a telling lifestyle detail however.
... The sex didn't seem particularly obtrusive to me... As for the violence, Stirling certainly doesn't pull his punches, but then melee combat to the death is an ugly, disgusting business and personally I find fiction that sugar coats violence more offensive than a clear-eyed treatment of the causes and consequences of violent conflict.
This tells the story of a small community, on the island of Nantucket, where the island and surrounding sea is flung back in time by over three thousand years. The clash and coming together of differing cultures is told well and has forced me to buy the other two books in the trilogy, as I want to know what happens next.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a riveting read no doubt but as unlikely as snow in hell...
the author has a perchant for mediaval sword fighting and so assumes that anybody who has lost modern technology... Read more
This and the 2nd book in the series are some of the better alternative hostory books I have read in quite some time. Read morePublished on 14 Feb. 2012 by Andy Watkins
I liked this book; I've read one or two alternate history type books before, but it's not a genre I'm heavily into so this was a pretty original idea for me. Read morePublished on 6 May 2011 by Aralla
This is my first book by S. M Stirling. It's also my first for alternate history which I tend to avoid in the belief that the genre is a cop out and a lot of navel-gazing (i.e. Read morePublished on 12 Jan. 2011 by Rona M.
I quite enjoyed this book but found the very extensive use of sailing terms and martial arts language somewhat excessive. Read morePublished on 21 Jun. 2010 by Blaran Odhar
another superb book by sm stirling which i can recomend to anybody, the people in the story are instantly believable and while reading i began to wonder how would i cope in the... Read morePublished on 7 Jun. 2009 by P. barton
This is one of those books that is often said to define its sub-genre (modern people thrown back in time to live amongst savages - it's a surprisingly common theme in bad... Read morePublished on 31 Jan. 2009 by D. R. Cantrell
I can't really say much that hasn't already been covered, so just two brief points;
first, I enjoyed it all especially the detail of how the people go about surviving and then... Read more
Good page turning story and if you are not pedantic, quite plausible. The second book is almost as good. Read morePublished on 15 Feb. 2001 by Amazon Customer