Saturday, February 19, 2011
The Big Time by Fritz Leiber
Another Hugo award winner. A very short book, more of a novella than a novel.
Two mystical sides, the Spiders and the Snakes are fighting. No one really knows what they are, or why they are fighting. The soldiers of the war are recruited from different eras. They are constantly changing the past, present and future to ensure that their side wins. Why they should win – they have no idea at all. The events happen in ”Big Time” which is a sort of grouping area outside of time used for recreation, regrouping and healthcare purposes. The workers who live there also come from different eras. Little of the war is shown, most of the story is presented as discussions between different characters while the ponder the meaning of their life and the purpose of the war they are fighting. There is sort sort of crisis or mystery they face at the final half of the book, but the solution to that is a disappointment as it is completely based on made up technology and there wouldn't have been any way a reader might have figured out the solution. The writing is very good, but as the plot is almost nonexistent I am somewhat ambivalent about the book.