Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Time Masters by Wilson Tucker

I can't quite put my finger on what it is I like so much about Wilson Tucker's science fiction novels. There is, almost always, something about the protagonist you instantly connect with. Even when this character isn't an ordinary Joe, there is enough familiarity in their behavior that you have no problem seeing the world through their eyes.

Perhaps Tucker's strength is simply that he does everything well; he tells a good story, with good pacing, natural dialog, believable characters, and doesn't seem to make a misstep. He is definitely one of the most under appreciated writers of his era.

The Time Masters isn't one of his more popular books; like The Year of the Quiet Sun and The Lincoln Hunters. However, with the exception of The Long Loud Silence, it is my favorite novel of his so far. I enjoy a book that mixes some history in with the fiction, and The Time Masters does that very well.

I have a few more Tuckers on the shelf to read: Resurrection Days, Time:X, Ice & Iron and the suspense novel This Witch. But next up is The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont.

1 comment:

Jim Meadows said...

I read Tucker's Ice and Iron a few years ago, and was impressed by its complex setting of future Ice Age paired with a further-future in which mankind (or at least part of it) had reverted to a primitive state. Tucker used this setting to present a protagonist who was sympathetic, but whose own prospects were as bleak as the future he was living in. I had known Tucker from SF fanzines, and wasn't expecting something this complex in his fiction.

I think Tucker's novels are completely out of print now --- I'd love to be mistaken --- I fear he may be fated to one of those writers whose reputation dies with them, despite the quality of their work.