Where Time Winds Blow, by Robert Holdstock

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Where Time Winds Blow, by Robert Holdstock

Postby tanzeelat » Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:48 am

Where Time Winds Blow is, like many British science fiction novels of its time, literate, slightly mannered, and very considered in its treatment of its characters. Its central idea is the framework on which the entire plot is hung. On the world of Kamelios, winds blow in and out of time, picking up and depositing artefacts, and people, in different eras. Leo Faulcon is a member of team which investigates artefacts left by the time winds. When Kris Dojaan joins the team, it provokes a crisis in Faulcon. Dojaan is hoping to find his brother, who was picked up by a time wind several months before. Faulcon and Dojaan's brother were close, but he doesn't admit it to Kris. Faulcon is also in a relationship with the team's leader, Lena Tanoway.

Where Time Winds Blow is a great novel... for about three-quarters of its length. The central premise is a superb idea - the time winds are strongest along along Kriakta Rift, where mysterious and unfathomable artefacts magically appear and disappear. Holdstock imbues his characters with a depth and breadth not often seen these days in science fiction (or indeed, throughout much of the genre's history). He also carefully dissects his central cast - with an almost Graham-Greene-like callousness. The writing, however, is occasionally clumsy. And I noticed when reading his Eye Among the Blind last year that his characters tend to flip between emotional states with implausible speed. But this is forgivable. What isn't is... Prior to setting up the novel's climax, Holdstock explains the mystery of the time winds. It's a concept he explores in greater depth in Mythago Wood and its sequels. It's also a disappointment, given what's been before. Right up to the point where Faulcon discovers the "truth" about Kamelios, Where Time Winds Blow is a superb sf novel. After that, it's merely good...
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:24 am

Sounds good! Saying "Graham-Greene" is generally enough to get me interested.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Postby Liege-Killer » Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:58 pm

Mythago Wood was a pretty good read. How would you say this one compares?
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Postby tanzeelat » Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:31 pm

Mythago Wood is probably a better book, although the central premise of Where Time Winds Blow appeals more to me. But they're both of a similar style.
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