- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Ace; 3rd Printing edition (1972)
- ASIN: B000LEHWU6
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,632,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Big Time Mass Market Paperback – 1972
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
Characters put the next stage of human development in the context of ordinary human foibles and frailties, and as always Leiber is able to slip in some big ideas without adding slack to the plot. Lord knows there are lots of authors who could have ladeled on a hundred more pages of lard.
Yes, if your idea of a time travel story is one more adventure of Biff Beefwhacker battling it out with ancient giant ratbeasts, then this will disappoint. If you think the time travel episodes of Star Trek make perfect sense, this will probably hurt your head. But if you want a tightly written, thoughtful, taut, tense, small scale adventure with large scale ideas underneath, this is your book.
In the Change War stories, two enemies, called "The Spiders" and "The Snakes," are engaged in a vast war, which has been going on for a billion years and may go on for another billion, with battles throughout the universe. The battles are fought, in part, by going back (or forward) in time, to change the outcome of a historic event and therefore warp the path of history so as to lead to the eventual victory of one side or the other. Soldiers recruited for the fight can be Roman gladiators, 15th century Hussars, Nazi soldiers, or even extraterrestials.
Although the scope of the Change War takes in all of space and time, Leiber daringly wrote this as a very short novel (probably only about 100 pages or so in printed text) and set it in a single room over the course of only a few hours, with characters entering and exiting as if in a play. Despite the short length and limited physical and temporal scope of the novel, the plot takes any number of twists and turns, and the story deals with complex themes of fate, loyalty, war and peace, and existentialism. No one knows what the "Spiders" and "Snakes" really are, or what the war is actually about; history has been changed so many times by the warring factions that no one can be sure what reality is any more. Thus, the book is both an exciting piece of science fiction and a genuinely profound meditation on the human condition. Leiber's penchant for word play is also evident, and the story is full of literary and historical allusions. A short read, but very rewarding.
Like all of Fritz Leiber's work the writing is supremely articulate and the story telling carefully, and craftily constructed, holding the reader from start to finish.
The main character twenty-nine and party girl Greta Forzane, takes us through events sited in an R&R centre for battling time travellers who find themselves becalmed on The Big Time along with a counting down Atomic bomb. A book which will need careful reading to get the whole picture, but well worth it; and for that great Gertrude Steinism: 'you can't time travel through the time you time travel in when you time travel.'
For the price I would have liked to to get a dust cover. But whatever, writng this good is worth the shortfall in packaging.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was recommended I think by John C Wright, but I must say that it did not really grab me. But what do I know? Give it a shot.Published 3 months ago by miasarx
Though I try to write a short review at least of every book I read, I almost did not write one for this book, as I have nothing much to say. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Walter Stanley
A war is underway to determine the fate of the universe. Both sides use time travel to change the course of historical events to suit their own ends. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Karl Janssen
A relatively quick start, with an unsatisfying ending. Admitedly not a recent book and shows it's age a bit.Published 10 months ago by J. Hill
I'm working a a reading project: to read each Hugo award novel. These older sci-fi novels really show their age, and standards for "good" science fiction have evolved a... Read morePublished 23 months ago by C. L. Suhre
Witty, entertaining, eminently readable. Double entendres, oblique references, allegory. Waiting for Godot masquerading as science fiction. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Lutolf Markus Franz
Many years ago I read this and many other Leiber stories. His work is up there with Bradbury, Asimov, Campbell, Pohl and all the great science fiction writers.Published on May 17, 2014 by billjohn
Within the limitations of this being either a very, very short novel or a very, very long short story (I guess that makes it a novella), I heartily recommend the work as a serious... Read morePublished on April 24, 2014 by M. Frost