“‘It was his idea of cosmic dissonance. The idea that the two realities would be inimical to each other, setting up a dissonance that would move toward resolution. That one reality would gather strength and the other diminish until the weaker one died out. Toward the end of his life he came to believe that we did have a Cousin Reality, and the mess we’ve made of the planet was evidence that our reality was losing a life-and-death struggle with our Cousin Reality…'”
The cover of Kay Kenyon’s 1994 sci-fi epic Seeds of Time boasts a quote from Mike Resnick touting its fast-moving plot, and, while I can’t deny that this book seemed at times to pass by as quickly as the Faster than Light hyperdrive they’re searching for in the latter half of the book, I almost wonder if it passed by a little too quickly. There’s a lot of story squeezed into one book, and yet, at the same time, not enough. I wanted a little less from this book in some aspects, and a little more in other. What I was left with was a book I enjoyed, but never felt entirely satisfied with.
It started out with so much promise. Clio Finn is one of the rare few who can Dive, which allows spaceships to drop through space and time, as the human race searches for something new to replace the dying earth. This near-future tale comes out of an oppressive society where homosexuality is prosecuted and there’s a strange Sickness infecting many people. Clio is on board a mission that discover Niang, a life rich planet that may offer a solution…if it weren’t for the fact that Niang plants consume metal, which would destroy our society and technology for good. Not only that, but there’s this ship found on Niang that contains a Faster than Light hyperdrive, just what the humans need…but they’re not the only ones who want it.
So far, a lot of good elements, but, where Seeds of Time really faltered was in the effort to connecting them all. At times, it felt like I was reading several different books. Clio was the connecting factor, but that was it. In fact, the whole thing with the Sickness and the homosexuality started out as a really big thing, but really seemed to have very little bearing on the book a a whole. I feel like it could have been completely removed and the plot wouldn’t have to be changed too much, which was a shame, because I thought that was one of the more intriguing parts of the book. All the parts were intriguing, but I just didn’t get enough of what I liked. Clio’s relationships seemed to burst into existence and fade away quicker than a firecracker, leaving nothing substantial left to stand on, and nothing seemed fully resolved when the plot moved on to something else. It left for a little bit of a disconnect, not at all helpsed by the fact that Kenyon’s style favored short fragments of sentence, which can work well at a time, but, for a book of this magnitude, was a little jarring.
Books read: 013/100.