Millennium. In the skies over Oakland, California, a DC and a are about to collide. And in the far distant future, a time-travel team is preparing to snatch. In , John Varley decided to use the concept to attempt to snark at Starting as a short story (“Air Raid”), developing into a script idea, and. John Varley’s Millennium, a novelization of the film disappointment of the same name, which was inspired by a Varley short story*.

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Bill Smith investigates aircraft crashes for the U.

A devastating double-plane crash occurs in California which draws both characters to the event—Bill to identify the cause, and Louise to supervise her distant-future team as they snatch the imminent victims from the doomed planes and dash them to the diseased and polluted Last Age to be preserved until arrangements can be made to transport them to another world and begin humanity anew.

Varley tells his story through the alternating first-person narratives of Louise and Bill, whose perspectives provide small windows to mysteries that puzzle the reader until they are viewed from both angles. The revelations to these mysteries are never mind-blowing, but they are interesting, well-paced, and well-plotted. His effort to portray a strong female protagonist is appreciated, but he confuses feminine strength with jaded masculinity, incidentally endowing Louise and Bill with the same voice.

Without their own assigned chapters and dialogue tags, I would not be able to differentiate them. Two, I said I wanted security here, and by that I meant keeping the press away from us until we had something to say. You fucked up on that. You get to catch the flak when it gets postponed. When I accessed, I wanted to feel like I was talking to something at least as nasty as I was p.


Can we desexualize female protagonists without making them sound like Bob Heinlein? That gruff manner automatically recalls Heinlein, and a quick Google search reveals that Varley is often compared to the crotchety grandmaster. And, following the fashion of too many male and female, sadly authors, Varley imbues his female protagonist with the second-most used, second-most uninspired motivation: The first-most used, first most-uninspired motivation is aggravated rape, because, as we all know, only dead children and sexual assault will move a woman to action.

Otherwise, they just sit at home and knit socks. Not only is this lazy character development, but the dead child angle turns out to be vague and irrelevant.

Millennium by John Varley

It has little impact on the story because saving humanity in a disease-ridden world should be motivation enough varkey a passionate crackpot like Louise. If you can ignore the annoying characterization, Millennium is a cool story with some fresh ideas about an old idea.

Using time travel to kidnap the doomed in order to repopulate the condemned future is a clever idea.

This was published just a few years before discovery of the Titanic wreckage, a misfortune of timing that dates the story—Authors, be careful when you reference significant events. It might wreck the spell you cast.

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Varley is no SF poseur. I just saw a Twilight Zone episode written by them. Millennium is a worthy read for any fan of time travel fiction, and for any Heinlein millejium who desire to envision their hero in drag.


Actually, Heinlein detractors might appreciate that kind of irony. Side effects will include white knuckles, constant seatbelt checking, and involuntary yelps at air pockets. Having read a couple of his earlier scifi […].

That wiki entry is completely wrong. It was my understanding the novel followed the film, rather than being an expansion of the short story which was then adapted for film. You are commenting using your WordPress.

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