“The Ring of Memory”

The Alexander Jablokov series continues.

Raw Feed (1989): “The Ring of Memory”, Alexander Jablokov, 1989.The Ring of Memory

A very complex story of time travel and resulting paradox — much more so than Robert A. Heinlein’s oft-cited ” — All You Zombies”.

As usual, Jablokov gives us vivid set-pieces (particularly the scene in the time of the Great Forgetting) that are quite compelling.

Jablokov weaves a knot unparalleled (as far as I know) in time travel sf.

Hugh Solomon and Andrew Tarkin criss-cross each other timelines and their own in a bewildering and, as far as Time Central is concerned, illegal fashion, creating their own ruthless personas (Solomon consigning Tarkin to a Soviet labor camp was particularly brutal), motives for vengeance, obsession, and guilt.

The idea of one’s future actions causing the situation you first try to prevent is standard time travel paradox stuff. Jablokov tries to bring emotion to it to flesh the basic idea out, to provide more than just intellectual amusement, and he succeeds.

He also tries to bring philosophy (a recurring feature, it seems, in most Jablokov stories) to this plot and here he doesn’t quite succeed except to say Time is not to blame for the plot but the characters of Solomon and Tarkin.

 

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