The Shoals of Time by P. Orin Zack

 

Science Fiction

The Shoals of Time The Shoals of TimeP. Orin Zack; Authorhouse 2001WorldCatIt is 2291. The agents of the Temporal Planning Commission are being attacked by some unknown source and have been falling into comas. They stay alive in the MedCenter hospitals that monitor each organ and keep the organs working properly. Nothing has yet been invented to restore brain function.

Phil Mantee is the last agent to fall victim to the attack. His contract with Healer Gillian Thomas ended a couple years earlier, but she is still listed as his next of kin. When he is admitted to the MedCenter, she is contacted. She transfers him to her Hospice. Then she tries to discover what happened.

Gillian goes into a Healer trance – and ends up in another conscious in 1983. This “hosting” had first been experimented with in the first half of the twenty second century. The people in 1983 had already been touched by some of the early pioneers, so were able to accept Gillian. Soon, though, Gillian goes back to 1868 where she is needed to heal an injured woman.

Meanwhile, a temporal war is being fought through hosting. The time flow is disrupted in the twenty fourth century. Hosts move around the different centuries trying to undo the original disruption. Gillian is one of the focal points of the disruptions.

Zack has been writing this book for many years. Some of the early scientific research he used for the base of this novel has since been proven. Some of the time traveling aspects seem unscientific to me, but I believe Zack was talking about some of the other scientific aspects of this novel.

I found it very difficult to follow The Shoals of Time through the first half of this e-book. Since I’m not a scientist, I tend to skim the hard science part of “science” fiction (vs space flight, fantasy, etc.) This book fits as hard science fiction. But the characters jump around a lot as well, plus I feel the book could benefit from some more editing. At times the wording seems stilted.

Yet by the time I was half to 3/4 of the way through, I knew I had to finish this book. This is not one I could have given up and skipped to the end. The end would not make sense without the last third of the book. The characters begin to flow properly by then. It always stays a bit tangled and hard to follow. Yet it proves itself as well. This is a book for the person who enjoys hard core science in his or her science fiction. The time travel through hosting concept is intriguing. So is the time stream. It’s too bad I won’t be around in a couple hundred years to see how Zack’s theories work out.

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