Sunday, February 10, 2019

Books read in 2019: No. 10 -- An Alien Heat: The First Volume of The Dancers at the End of Time

by Michael Moorcock

Started: Feb. 7
Finished: Feb. 10

Notes: I had not necessarily planned on reading this novel at this time because it is the first in a trilogy and I've only had the first two books. However, I recently purchased that third novel, so now I have the whole trilogy and feel I can get on with it. Though I've done so a few times, I don't normally like to split up my reading of a series as sometimes my memory isn't all that great and I have a difficult time remembering what's happened in this past. Now I won't have worry about that. Plus, I've been on a sci-fi kick of late, so why not read this one?

Mini review: Far, far in the future, at least a million years, seemingly only a handful of humans now remain on the Earth but they have the powers of gods with the abilities to do just about anything, create just about anything. Life for these near immortals has become one big joke in which they do little more than create fantastical amusements for one another. In one way of looking at it, life has no meaning for them, at least not any serious meaning. However, there is little sadness and no pain. Also, apparently the end of the universe is looming in a thousand years or so. The first half of this book is frustrating in there seems to be no reason for anything to happen, to reason to care as nothing can truly harm the characters, but then ... well, I'll just say another character is involved, situations change, and the last portion of the book is quite intriguing with a character who seemed incapable of change going through not exactly a change but at least a period of thought with potential for change. Also, interesting enough, I believe Moorcock brings a time machine from his novel Behold the Man into this book, at least for a brief appearance, as if he has not done so, then my memory of the time machine from that book must be incorrect. Also, though I'm sure I've not read An Alien Heat before now, much of it seemed familiar, and the only possibility I can come up with is that this particular novel draws much from Moorcock's Eternal Champion books. Also, there are quite a few similarities between the world of this novel and one futuristic setting in Neil Gaiman's The Books of Magic, so maybe that's why much here seems familiar, though The Books of Magic came a couple of decades after An Alien Heat, so if anything, I would think Gaiman was influenced by Moorcock and not the other way around.

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