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The Time Ship: A Chrononautical Journey (Early Classics Of Science Fiction) Hardcover – Illustrated, July 5, 2012
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"Yolanda Molina-Gavilán and Andrea L. Bell have assembled a compact yet comprehensive edition that situates Gaspar within the Western literature of time travel, delineating new paths of inquiry for critics and introducing the reader to an author of striking with and presence."―Pedro Ponce, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts
"as an insight into the wider international background that accompanied the rise of scientific romance in Europe, this well researched and beautifully presented edition of the first time travel story involving a time machine is a worthy addition to any science fiction library."―Chris Pak, Foundation
"This is a lovely little slice of genre history. The Time Ship makes for an entertaining―and in places gleefully subversive―read.... Thanks are due to Wesleyan University Press for supporting its publication, and to all involved for bringing it back to light for modern SF fans."―Nic Clarke, Strange Horizons
"As the first English Translation of this humorous and important work, this book belongs on the shelf along with more famous works of science fiction from the late 19th century, as a reminder of the contributions of less-known but still important Spanish writers to this genre. Recommended"―P.J. Kurtz, Choice
"[The Time Ship] inaugurates one of science fiction's most potent subgenres, and for this alone, it deserves to be remembered and honored. Moreover, the period illustrations by Francesc Soler are exceptionally charming."―Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
"a jolly romp with considerable humour and sly digs at both Spanish and French pretensions."―Nick Caistor, Times Literary Supplement
"Gaspar's novel takes us back to science fiction's infancy, when emotion and intelligence were enough to evoke a sense of wonder, creating pure adventure without needing to resort to rivers of blood or extreme violence. Reading it is a surprising experience as well because, though almost 125 years old, The Time Ship proves that many of the themes we think of as current were already a concern to our great-grandparents."―Daína Chaviano, author of The Island of Eternal Love
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Hardcover : 240 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0819572387
- Product dimensions : 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Wesleyan University Press; Illustrated edition (July 5, 2012)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
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"The Time Ship" is an interesting historical oddity ... perhaps the first science fiction story, if it is that, using a mechanical device to achieve time travel.
There are many ways to review this: simply as a story, or as a translation, or as a research project. All these views are valid, and all have their problems.
As a story, it falls short. I don't have the background for comparing it to contemporaneous stories, but from a modern viewpoint, the storying telling and plotting is relatively poor. There are a number of long blocks of tedious lecturing (which even some of the characters find tedious!), and a number of deus-ex-machina solutions to problems. The writing is often pretentious. A group of soliders is always (?) referred to as "men of Mars". Some of the historical facts presented led me to fascinating pages on the web, so reading this book definitely enriched my knowledge (e.g., I've learned about the Ictineo, arguably the first real submarine...invented in Spain).
One major disappointment was the artwork ... viewed on a Kindle, it's very grainy and lacks the detail that the translators comment on repeatedly.
As a translation, it seems to be very good. In some places, it's clear the translators have worked hard to maintain puns from the original ... something quite difficult to do when translating. I'd have appreciated a few notes about the translation in places, and wanted to have access to the original Spanish so I can look things up myself.
As a research project ... the book has a number of footnotes, most are of adequate length to be informative, but a few beg for more explanation, and/or a pointer to source material. The Kindle's treatment of footnotes is very finicky ... particularly when trying to return from a footnote back to the original location in the text. The difficulty of returning led me to simply read ahead several footnotes at a time.
As the time ship approaches what most of us would describe as "the Big Bang", I began to wonder how the author would pull off the ending.
It's a dream. Well, Larry Hagman and Victor Fleming wouldn't have minded :)
So, if it's a dream, it can't be a science fiction story, unfortunately. Science fiction *has to have* a premise of being based on something happening ... the "what if" question. If the "what if" becomes "it didn't", then that invalidates the initial premise and you're left with something that is no longer science fiction. Fantasy, yes; SF: no.