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Against the Tide of Years Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1999

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Against the Tide of Years + On the Oceans of Eternity + Island in the Sea of Time
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 454 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451457439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451457431
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.2 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

In Stirling's bestselling Island in the Sea of Time, modern Nantucket found itself trapped in the Bronze Age. In the sequel, Against the Tide of Years, the renegade William Walker forges a dangerous alliance with the ancient Greek kings Agamemnon and Odysseus; Commodore Marian Alston faces terrible sea storms and cannon-armed Phoenician ships in an anachronistic Age of Sail; and the outnumbered Nantucketers race Walker to make contact with the Babylonian Empire.

Of course this ambitious, action-packed series is perfect for time-travel, alternate-history, and military-SF fans. But epic-fantasy readers, Burroughs and Haggard fans desiring a modern update of the lost-civilization adventure novel, and anyone who ever read Patrick O'Brian for the terrific sea-battles will enjoy it as well. --Cynthia Ward


"Another exciting and explosive tale of ambition, ingenuity, intrigue, and discovery." ---Jane Lindskold, author of When the Gods Are Silent --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

I'm a writer by trade, born in France but Canadian by origin and American by naturalization, living in New Mexico at present. My hobbies are mostly related to the craft -- I love history, anthropology and archaeology, and am interested in the sciences. The martial arts are my main physical hobby.

Customer Reviews

His characters are engaging and believable.
Amazon Customer
It's been a long time since I read alternate history/science fiction that really made me think the way Stirling's books do.
I enjoy the development of the characters both good and bad along with the interesting situations they find themselves in.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the better "Americans lost in the past" books, and certainly more realistic than Eric Flint's =1632=.
I'm puzzled, however, by the number of reviewers who seem to believe that a strong female character, like Marian Alston, automatically means that the male author hates his own gender. I'm also puzzled by the references to Alston being "a psychotic lesbian." If being career oriented, strong minded, and loving toward her family is "psychotic," well, I'm a psychotic heterosexual and have been for forty years. It's too bad that a decent female military lead is still intolerable to so many.
I also do not understand this "Stirling is left wing" business. The only way I could see any "leftist influence" is that the female characters were portrayed as equal to the men rather than being stereotypes. Compared to the average military SF book, this *is* liberal, but ultimately this is much more damning of the right wing/libertarian strain in science fiction than of S.M. Stirling. Or maybe the idea of one person, one vote at a New England town meeting is a bit much for some people?
Finally, the "reviewer" who brings up the subject of Bronze Age combat being reliant on brute strength is forgetting a few things (just a few). First, this book is about Americans changing the paradigm by introducing less strength oriented tactics and weapons. Second, modern Americans are larger, stronger and healthier than Bronze Age Mediterraneans. That includes women, believe it or not. Third, Bronze Age warfare depended on brute strength because the tactics and weapons were extremely primitive. The Nantucketers may be *in* the Bronze Age, but they are not *of* the Bronze Age.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By on May 21, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
AGAINST THE TIDE OF YEARS, the second book in S.M. Stirling's Nantucket trilogy, is a riveting, delightful, novel of war on a global scale, of people in love, and of great deeds and high adventure. It is also an exploration of the nature of sacrifice, the concepts of duty and honor, and each person's responsibility for each other. It's not an overstatement to say that along with its predecessor, it sets a new standard in the alternate history genre of SF. It is one hell of a read. In the first novel, ISLAND IN THE SEA OF TIME, the island of Nantucket off the Massachusetts coast is inexplicably thrown three thousand years back in time. The Coast Guard cutter EAGLE, near Nantucket at the time, goes with it.
The people of the island deal with this miraculous event and start to build a community. Jared Cofflin, the town Sheriff, is made Chief Executive of the small nation. Marian Alston, Captain of the Eagle, heads its armed forces, which everyone thought were not going to be necessary for a while. Then William Walker, a junior Coast Guard officer, steals a ship, weapons, and technology, and takes off for Bronze Age England to make himself king of the world. Nantucket raises an army, travels to England, and defeats him in battle, though he escapes to the mainland with his small group of evil rebels.
In AGAINST THE TIDE OF YEARS, it is eight years later. The fledgling Republic of Nantucket(RON) has achieved economic stability and is pushing into the American continent, while maintaining close relations with the Fiernan and the Sun People of the British Isles. Walker has traveled to Greece, where he's become a favorite noble of King Agamemnon. As Walker's political and military power grows, it becomes clear he's preparing for a war of conquest.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this series. I've lost track of my initial purchases, since I've lent them out to so many people. This is a series I love to read and reread. There's so much depth to the characters and so many different plot threads I notice something new each time.
Stirling has done a masterful job at engaging the reader in the "time & place." Those reviewers here who balk at the "PC" correctness they see as prevalent must have a personal agenda. I find it fairly realistic that in this situation of being suddenly thrust into the past, the islanders bring their 20th century values with them. Would they really ignore the contribution the women in their midst are able to make? I don't think so.
I'm not a big fan of military fiction, but his descriptions of the battles grip my imagination as much as do his sailing scenes and there I do have a personal reference. He makes better use of the power of smells to evoke memory than any other writer I know. You can smell the woodsmoke, the tang of iron, the dank mud, the clean sweep of the sea. His characters are engaging and believable.
I heartily recommend all three books in this series. You'll get hooked! I just hope Steve Stirling continues to add to the three books. He left plenty of loose ends to be picked up and woven into another 3 books.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed reading this book - read it on the beach in a couple of days.
Unlike some of the other reviewers, i am not particularly bothered by the lesbianism, or the lack of explanation of the "event".
The biggest problem i had was that the author makes no distinction between what omniscient, infallible gods would do, and what the nantucketers do. Draka revisited, except benign this time. The RON never makes an ethical, technological, economic, or political misstep, in the author's view. Especially in the case of technical decisions related to warfare, many of the choices that the RON make are odd, or arbitrary, but they are protrayed as unassailable strokes of brilliance. If the author adopts this sort of stance, i think he assumes the responsibility of discussing all the eliminated alternatives. since this is ridiculous for a novel, the stance of the narrator should be more neutral toward the actions of the fallible, imperfect, incompletely knowledgeable nantucketers. This book reads more like a utopian polemic favoring Nantucket, rather than an attempt at a speculative technical history.
The brawling ninja females, unlikely as they are, are such a staple of this genre that they probably can be forgiven. They are laid on a little thick, however.
Don't _not_ read or buy this book because of my review, please. Just my opinion. The idea and setting is so imaginative that its entertainment value is high, despite my nerdy technical criticisms.
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