The Fury Out of Time is a science fiction mystery. Major Bowden Karvel is a retired Air Force officer and astronaut. Discharged for disability at the age of 36 with an artificial leg and a bitter attitude, he is lonely, bored and drinking too much. He is living in a trailer park outside Hatch Air Force Base and just marking time.
In this novel, Karvel has gone to Whistler's Country Tavern for a little company, although Ma Whistler forces him to eat some breakfast as well. After an argument, Whistler sets out an umbrella table and two chairs in the backyard area called a garden. As he is watching the magnificent view of the nearby valley, something starts knocking down trees in a widening spiral and soon pushes Karvel off his feet. As Karvel lies bleeding twenty feet away and the table sails off down into the valley, Whistler comments on the lack of noise.
Although called a tornado for convenience, the phenomenon is definitely not a weather condition nor anything else previously observed. Karvel orders the base personnel at the tavern to start rescue efforts and alerts the base itself. Then he drives out to view the origin of the fury and finds a dullish-black ten-foot sphere in a hollow. Nearby he finds an impossible butterfly.
The first part of the novel describes the efforts and evidence that finally convinces the authorities that the sphere is a time machine. Eventually Karvel gets into the sphere and travels forward in time. There he finds an advanced society, but also some inconsistencies.
This novel presents some interesting concepts and characters. As with most of the author's other science fiction works, the protagonist of this story is presented with a mystery which he must solve.Read more ›
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This was one of my top ten SF books of all time when it appeared, and I'd still put it in the top twenty, even with so much published since. I could hardly wait to see what happened next, and it goes through all sorts of unexpected twists and turns before arriving at a very satisfying ending. Mr Biggle writes easily and naturally, with a touch of ironical humour.
Disabled Air Force Major Bowden Karvel is hanging out with some friends at a local tavern, when he sees trees starting to fall in the valley below, in a widening spiral of destruction. At the centre is some sort of spherical vehicle, with some sort of human pilot in it — stone dead.
Where did it come from? The capsule itself is the only clue, and the only way to find out where it came from is for a live pilot to take it to its point of origin...
Lesser Biggle, but still head and shoulders above most of what is being written these days. The first section of this book (100 pages or so) are a deft a skewering of governmental response to a crisis situation (and without veering into stereotypes) as you will find anywhere in print. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for other authors competing for the same book dollar), Biggle does not maintain this level for the balance of this volume. Still there is plenty here to make you laugh out loud at one moment, and set the book down to think for a spell the next. The biggest problem this book has is that Biggle manages to write his way into a corner. Worse still, having gotten there, he simply stops--whether from lack of further ideas, publication deadline, or sequelitis this reviewer does not know. Still, while Biggle's fury may have run out of time, lucky readers who buy this volume can rejoice that this book is (at long last) back in print!
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