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Summer of Love: A Time Travel Paperback – June 16, 2017
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From Library Journal
Sent from the 25th century to track down an individual crucial to the preservation of the timestream, time-traveler Chiron Cat's Eye in Draco (the character's full name) plunges headlong into the myth and mania of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury scene of 1967-the legendary "summer of love." The author of Arachne (LJ 4/15/90) opens a window into the past in this masterful re-creation of time and place. Far future and recent past come together in a story that combines speculative science and historical accuracy. A priority purchase.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In Mason's second novel, the media's recent love affair with the 1960s finally reaches its fictional apotheosis with an admiring backward look from 500 years hence. Chiron Cat's Eye in Draco is a twenty-fifth-century San Franciscan sent back to the 1967 Summer of Love to uncover the source of an anomalous information gap in his era's archives. Armed with high-tech sunscreen and other assorted protections against twentieth-century toxins, Chiron must locate and study a teenage runaway nicknamed Starbright, who may or may not be the axis for a series of inevitable historic events. Although trying to obey strict tenets of noninvolvement, Chiron slowly finds himself sympathizing with Starbright and the causes of her day, thereby risking not only his mission but the fate of his own time line. Mason faithfully re-creates the frenzied flavor of the 1960s Haight-Ashbury scene while skillfully delineating believable and engaging characters. A unique blend of nostalgia and wry speculative fiction. Carl Hays --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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If you're interested in fictional, 1967 Summer of Love stories for young adults/teens, check out 'My Beautiful Hippie', that's a great book.
Mason has certainly done her homework. You can almost smell the pot and patchouli, see the painted faces and hear the sounds of Janis and the Grateful Dead as Chi, Starbright and Ruby fight to hold on to what really matters at a time when everything seems possible and even the smallest things can have huge consequences.
The time travel plot is nicely (if a bit predictably) done and the glimpses from Chi's future world are fascinating, frightening and ultimately hopeful. Starbright is 100 percent convincing as a confused, loyal, idealistic, moody teenager who really could hold the key to what is to come. And Ruby Maverick, the shopkeeper who reluctantly gives the two young strangers shelter and strength in a strange and wondrous time is strong and smart and the kind of friend you'd want holding your hand or watching your back when the trip starts going strange.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is not a rose-colored look backwards. It's is a kaleidoscopic look at a time of both darkness and light, of confusion and clarity. It's scary and beautiful, a strange trip where maybe all you need is a little love and some flowers in your hair.
What I can add is that Lisa Mason has done a meticulous job of researching what the sixties were REALLY like, not the candy coated version of them which one normally sees in the media. That one could go to the Fillmore and see Quicksiver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company, of the Jefferson Airplane, legendary groups almost any night. The idea that this quality of music would last forever. The naive optimism about the future mixed with the omnipresent paranoia about the Man or the System. The wide open experimentation with living styles. The idea that anyone who dressed like you was your brother/sister. The dark side of "free love". That someone with bell-bottomed pants and bare feet would hitchhike across the country to San Francisco with little or no money because a friend was there (somewhere) and a record said in the "Summer of Love", all you needed was a "Flower in Your Hair". The individual acts of giving and charity mixed with the fundamentally parasitic nature of the "Love" generation.
Ms Mason's love of San Francisco shines through her story so one can taste and feel "Haight Ashburg" local of the 60's.
It is a sad commentary on the publishing industry that there is a deluge of new dreck each day and by the time the word gets around that a scifi book is really exceptional, it's often out-of-print!
Let's hope the publisher returns this gem to print SOON!
Lisa Mason shows all sides of the Summer of Love: innocence, foolishness, mind-expansion, addiction, freedom, anarchy, loving each other, using each other, anti-capitalism, dealing, stealing, turning on, tuning in, wisdom, naivete, creativity, depravity, and all sorts of experimentation. You may both wish you'd been there and be relieved that you weren't. This is an interesting trip through 1967, with glimpses of 2467 and of the mess that the 20th century creates for the 25th and vice versa.
(Another fun trip through "the sixties": Tom Wolfe's psychedelic, journalistic novel "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.")
This novel is loads of fun to read. The majority of the characters are hippies from the 1960s who meet a stranger from the future who's looking to save his world. This fellow, Chiron, needs to find a troubled adolescent teen named Susan Stein (a.k.a. Starbright) for a very compelling reason. The book has a great deal to offer: swift action, lovable characters, spiritual insight, and well-chosen primary documents such as essays, poems, and news articles which round out the reader's understanding of the worldview of the novel.
I think Summer of Love has excellent potential for a wider audience. I hope it continues to enjoy a healthy amount of sales in the used books market on this site. I wish even more for it to be in wider circulation. Some books talk about the sixties. This novel IS the sixties, thanks to the spirit and scholarship of its author. And, as one reader aptly put it, "the sci-fi stuff is just plain off the hook." Get a copy. Most people who have read it seem to respect it and enjoy it every bit as much as I do.
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This has been one of my favourite books for a very long time.Read more