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Customer Review

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unusual slants on time travel., 7 Feb. 2004
This review is from: Consider Her Ways: And Others (Mass Market Paperback)
The theme to most of the stories is distortions in time, and he has some intriguing and thought-provoking slants on this. The novella of the title, "Consider Her Ways", is about a woman who wakes up several years in the future to find herself as an obese brood-mare in a female-only world. This is genuinely disturbing in parts, but is let down by a bizarre sort of anti-feminist rant in the middle section of the story. Wyndham seemed to be concerned that if taken too far Women's Lib (as it would have been known in his time) would lead to such a state of affairs. It's an interesting idea as to what a men-less world would be like, but he needn't have worried, as the whole thought is too preposterous to most women to be taken seriously, even as a bit of science fiction! The story also loses a lot of oomph when the central character gets back to her own time, and decides to take it into her hands to stop the onward progression of history. But, having said all that, the story does work on the disturbing level of what it would be like to suddenly wake up in a different body and in a different time. I quite felt for "Mother Orchis" being told that from now on she had to spend her life as a blob wrapped in pink satin, unable to think, move freely or read, and there solely to produce litters of daughters. I personally found that the rest of the stories in this volume didn't quite pack the same emotional punch, although "Stitch In Time" about an old lady who, through some strange experiment in physics, meets her long-lost love from 50 years before, is certainly thought-provoking to say the least, tho' I felt more could have been done with it. The story about Peggy MacRafferty, a pretty Irish girl transformed into a screen starlet and losing all her individuality in the process, becoming yet another plastic babe, loses vitality because we've seen this scenario done so many times since, and to be honest, done better. This volume is an interesting read for John Wyndham fans, but I wouldn't say it was vintage science fiction.
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S. Hapgood
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