From Publishers Weekly
Since the publication of The Cross-Time Engineer in 1993, Frankowski's Conrad Stargard series about a bunch of socially immature male engineers has amused many readers, but this sloppy, adolescent prequel, which roughly explains the origin of the time machine featured in the other novels, is for die-hard fans only. Soon after leaving the U.S. Air Force in 1968, Tom Kolczyskrensi hooks up with two old college buddies, Jim Hasenpfeffer, a grad student about to get his doctorate in Behavioral Psychology, and Ian McTavish, a mechanical engineer at General Motors. (Tom himself is a college drop-out.) The three of them learn how to create a time machine and amass the financial wherewithal to build it. During a motorcycle vacation, they encounter a massive "implosion," which just happens to send out one intact piece of paper with electrical schematics and bits of humans. This fortuitous accident sets them on the way to wealth, health and unlimited sex with hosts of compliant and beautiful young women, the narration of which occupies more than a third of the novel. The story's opening postdates the end, highlighting the conventional time-travel paradoxes as well as most of the author's literary flaws, chiefly wooden, repetitive prose. In a foreword Frankowski informs the reader that he began the book as a high school student in the 1950s. It's too bad his more mature self apparently chose to finish it at the same level.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
An Air Force veteran, a mechanical engineer, and a behavioral scientist decide to make a radical change in their lives and set off on a journey of exploration, self-discovery, and freedom from bureaucracy. When they discover a strange patch of ground that used to hold a house-along with the blueprints for a sophisticated piece of machinery-the three friends find themselves in the possession of the plans for a working time machine. The author of A Boy and His Tank and Fata Morgana returns to a favorite topic in this tale of time-travel and its potentials for good and evil. By turns raucously funny and thoughtfully sobering, Frankowski's prequel to the Adventures of Conrad Stargard (the "Cross-Time Engineer" series) belongs in large sf collections.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.