Plot introduction[ edit ] Millennium features a civilization that has dubbed itself "The Last Age". They have thus embarked on a desperate plan; time travel into the past, collect healthy humans, and send them to an uncontaminated planet to rebuild civilization. The time travelers can only take people that will have no further effect on the timeline: those who have vanished without a trace, or died without being observed; otherwise they would be changing the past, which risks a temporal paradox and perhaps even a catastrophic breakdown of the fabric of time. Though they collect everyone they can, they exert a great deal of effort on those destined to die in various disasters such as sinking ships and crashing airplanes and once a century of Roman soldiers lost and dying in the North African desert. As such incidents leave no survivors to report interference and change the timeline, they can freely remove the living but soon-to-die victims, and replace them with convincing corpses they have manufactured in the future.

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First off, this is a Time Travel novel capitalization intended. We have paradox and consequences and rules and messages from the future and chronal instability and characters seeing the same events in different orders. Secondly, there is a large emphasis on mortality. Bill is examining a crash between a DC and a in which everyone died. Louise travelled back in time to snatch the soon-to-be-dead passengers off the planes and help resuscitate a far future where lifespans are short and disease rampant.

In short, the first third of the book has a lot of death. Nothing too gory, but directly viewed and fairly sobering. Thirdly, we have a romance. The novel and some of the characters try to make it up as a "meet cute" the term is actually used by the book but our two heroes are broken people, not Hepburn and Grant. And the romance is more yearning for meaning and connection than watching sparks fly. Finally, we have an ending or actually, several endings that addresses the whole cosmic issue of playing with time.

The end result is a work that totters on a knife edge between cute puzzle aspects, romance and meaningful. As a whole, it worked for me. There are a few exceptions, like Lest Darkness Fall by L. One of the best robot characters ever created in SF, too, and on page 23 a shout-out to Robert Heinlein.

Nothing not to love here. In fact, time to reread it again


Millennium (John Varley)





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