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Time's Last Gift (Wold Newton Prehistory) (Wold Newton Universe Novel) Paperback – June 12, 2012

4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“"very detailed story teller" "He's got the anthropological aspects and the mechanics of time travel down pat." – She Never Slept

About the Author

Philip José Farmer was a multiple award-winning science fiction writer of 75 novels. He is best known for his Wold Newton and Riverworld series. In 2001 he was awarded the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Prize and a World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. He passed away in 2009.

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Product Details

  • Series: Wold Newton Universe Novel
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857689657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857689658
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip José Farmer (1918-2009) is a three-time Hugo Award winner, and Nebula Grand Master. He has long been recognized as one of the foremost writers in the fields of science fiction and fantasy. He is best known for being the author who introduced sex into science fiction in 1952 with his groundbreaking novella "The Lovers"; his biographies of Tarzan and Doc Savage; his love of pulp characters; his Riverworld, World of Tiers, and Dayworld series; and his Wold Newton Family concept.

Visit www.pjfarmer.com to keep up on all the latest news about Philip José Farmer.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Time's Last Gift is my favourite Philip José Farmer novel and I've been excited about receiving my new Titan edition for weeks! Well, it's finally arrived and I'm as pleased as punch with it!

Starting in 2070 this book is the story of a group of scientists, led by the enigmatic John Gribardsun, who travel back to 12,000 BC in order to study the Magdalenian culture. As is so typical of Farmer, you get a master class in understanding how such a trip into our history would actually work. The issues that would be encountered, the joys that would be discovered. It's a fascinating, page-turning read with an ending that will make you look on Farmer's imagination in awe. I promise, your eyes will literally widen as you read the conclusion.

This book is billed as a Wold Newton Prehistory novel and I guess most people conversant with Farmer's work will understand why that is the case. Even if you are not interested in a wider reading of Farmer's work you will have a fine time with this book. The story is informative, fast-paced and entertaining. As part of the wider Wold Newton Family it is a lynch pin novel that opens doors to countless possibilities. I sincerely hope that if this is your first foray into Farmer's canon it entices you to read more, you won't be disappointed.

If you're a Farmer fan you no doubt already have a copy of this novel (do check to make sure you have the later versions with the epilogue - that alone makes this Titan reprint worthwhile) so you may be wondering if it's worth buying this version. It certainly is! As well as the full text there are a couple of fascinating additions.

Firstly, there is an afterword from Christopher Paul Carey, a real expert on Farmer, who deftly explains the Wold Newton Prehistory claim.
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Time's Last Gift is my favorite Wold Newton novel. Period.

The story is a timeless one about a man who is the epitome of the hero archetype, and what that means in cultural and temporal terms for those around him, and for those yet to be born. Through the character of John Gribardsun, Philip Jose Farmer tells the story of a familiar hero who becomes the eternal man of myth, something that made Time's Last Gift a true classic.

Furthermore, using the concepts of time travel, archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics, Farmer is able to give the novel's four chief protagonists the tools necessary to remake the world of the past one person, family, tribe, and village at a time. Farmer was ahead of his time when it came to his views on the possible temporal and geopolitical ramifications of time travel. However, Farmer was also wise in his view that nature would allow for such tamperings, and still correct itself to keep the chronological narrative in check. At least on the surface, that is. Farmer wouldn't be Farmer if he didn't have a few jaw dropping twists that left fans wanting more. Farmer is the epitome of the writer as a trickster, and it shows in Time's Last Gift. Just when you think you have it figured out, Farmer throws you at least one or two curve balls. That's the sign of a great writer.

Moreover, where the Titan Books edition of Time's Last Gift soars is with the inclusion of the Afterword written by Christopher Paul Carey, and the extensive Gribardsun chronolgy written by Win Scott Eckert and Dennis E. Power. Carey, Eckert, and Power are accomplished writers who have carried on the legacy of Philip Jose Farmer as literary archaeologists and creative mythographers.
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Despite receiving countless accolades from his peers and fans, the late Philip Jose Farmer remains unknown to a large portion of the general public. This is a tragedy, as his work is among the most, if not THE most (and I believe it is), imaginative and intelligent in the genre. Farmer richly delineates his time travelers' reactions to the primitive era and peoples amidst which they find themselves, and his characterization is unmatched.

None of Farmer's works exemplifies his imagination better than his novels, stories, and essays about the Wold Newton Family, an interconnected family tree of mainstream, pulp, adventure, and detective fiction heroes who owe their remarkable qualities to their ancestors' exposure to the radiation of a meteorite that fell in the Yorkshire village of Wold Newton in 1795. As Christopher Paul Carey's excellent afterword demonstrates, this is perhaps the most important entry in the Wold Newton cycle. Keen-eyed viewers will notice many similarities between John Gribardsun, the mysterious leader of the expedition into the past, and one of Farmer's favorite characters, a prominent member of the Wold Newton Family. I will not say his name, but the initials of the title of this book provide a strong hint. Farmer sprinkles hints at his true identity throughout the book in a distinctly non-overbearing manner, and makes many startling revelations about this man's later life. Carey's afterword and an equally superb chronology by Farmer scholars Win Scott Eckert and Dennis E. Power further reveal the startling implications for the Wold Newton Family and the universe in which they exist.

Phil Farmer was, and still is even after his passing in 2009, one of the most controversial and groundbreaking authors in science fiction.
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