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The River of Time
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This early collection of short stories by David Brin spans a wide range of styles and subject matter. As a result, it is not the sort of book that reads well in one sitting. But when read one story (or section of stories, as they are loosely organized by theme) at a time, the book is far more enjoyable. Brin's introductory notes on each story are a very nice addition to the stories themselves.
Among the stories, I particularly liked "The Crystal Spheres" with its interesting take on space travel, answer to the "if intelligent life exists in the universe, why haven't they contacted us yet?" question, and its suggestion that the universe is actually protecting us a little bit. I also enjoyed "Tank Farm Dynamo". However, far and away the standout story in this collection is the title story "The River of Time". This is one of my favourite short stories by any author, both for the unique concept of time as a true river with tributaries and currents, and for its tight execution. It made me stop and consider the linearity of time in an entirely new way.
If you can locate a copy of this book, which is sadly out of print again, and you enjoy concept-based stories, it is well worth picking up for the title story alone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you can manage to get your hands on a copy of this book,grab it. I'm a great fan of Brin's ever since I read Sundiver 4 yearsago.
This collection of short stories is both original and thought-provoking. He is one of a few writers that I have read who can delve into atmospheric theory, Greek legends, and some serious speculative stuff in one science fiction volume, and have it all come off as a cohesive volume of stories.
If you're new to Brin, or if you're a seasoned fan, this book is worth reading 100%. Not as developed as his novels, but of course you can't expect that from short stories. Very satisfying read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the defining characteristics of science fiction as a genre is the ability to write stories that answer the questions "what if?" and "why?" Almost every one of the short stories in this collection evolves from one of these questions. Some of them, in particular the heavily awarded and thought provoking "Crystal Spheres", are well polished and enjoyable. Others, such as the abominable 250 word story, are obviously included because the author has a soft spot in his heart for them. Overall this collection is a good buy for those who are die-hard fans of the author himself, but I would have been happier if a number of the stories had been omitted and the book filled out with quality works from the latter part of Brin's career.
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on March 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
THE RIVER OF TIME brings together eleven of David Brin's finest shorter works, including "The Crystal Spheres," winner of the Hugo Award for Best Short Story, and four new stories published here for the first time, each with an afterword by the author.

Here are powerful tales of heroism and humanity, playful excursions into realms of fancy, and profound mediations on time, memory, and our place in the universe, by one of the most heralded new writers of our age.
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on March 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Personally, I thought that all of his ideas (not that I want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it) were cool. My favorite stories in it were: The Crystal Spheres, The Loom of Thessaly, and The River of Time. I am a definite fan of David Brin though, so maybe I'm slightly (just slightly) biased.
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on August 3, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Favorite book!
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