The Depths of Time

The Depths of Time

Time is of the essence when you're stranded in the future....

The settled universe is filled with terraformed worlds linked by timeshafts -- temporal wormholes in deep space.

But one critical mission ends in disaster, turning Anton Koffield, captain of the "Upholder, " into a dark legend....

In response, Koffield is forced to do the unthinkable: he must stop the invasion by destroying the timeshaft.

Marooned eighty years in the future, he lives as a cursed figure, the villain who killed a world.

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There is a real hard science feel - the book opens quickly demonstrating how humanity has created artificial worm holes that use time travel combined with years of sub light travel in cryogenic suspension to travel interstellar distances and arrive at the destination at almost exactly the same time that they left. The author does a great job of quickly building an interesting base for how the technology works, the problems with it and the associated dangers - for example people trying to use the wormholes to travel backward in time with knowledge of the future which could catastrophically adjust history. Some people will hate the cliffhanger ending - it comes as a surprize and there is no warning on my copy of the book that it is the first in a trilogy.

Or as one GR reviewer aptly said (paradoxically), "really boring but very interesting." Two good main characters.

Although old, the Sci Fi book Depths of Time by Roger MacBride Allen tells the story of Captain Koffield, A military captain of the future. The Depths of time was a great book, however I fear that it might be hard to find because it is an old book. Through use of a Time Shaft one is able to travel from one star galaxy to another in a couple days or weeks).

Please note this is in regards to the entire trilogy ("The Depths of Time", "The Ocean of Years" and "The Shores of Tomorrow") I doubt I'm going to read this trilogy again, as there was many problems with it, but I do still remember it with a certain fondness. It takes place 3000 years in the future, and involves an elaborate and entirely plausible method of traversing long distances through space by a process of cryogenics and time travel. An official hero but a cursed public figure, he takes a private job working for world architect Oskar DeSilvo on his new terraforming project, Solace. The time travel, the manhunt, elements of the world building, the terraforming was all great. There is a lot of political intrigue that comes out towards the end of the trilogy, but theres too little explanation of the politics of that world. In total, the entire trilogy could have been done in a tight 250 pages, maybe 400, 500 on the outside edge if he wanted to rework the pacing a little and tighten up the prose, perhaps add in a little more elaboration on the political intrigue.

It took three hours to describe the event that set the stage for the rest of the book/series. Expect to find things that don't make sense when jumping forward in time hundreds of years. Expect those things to be explained. didn't seem to change in a span of 120+ years...then the characters noticed and an explanation was eventually provided) I recommend the book and the series. The next two books (yes I got both) benefited greatly from skimming over repetitive parts.

FictionConnection, a resource my library system (and perhaps yours) provides access to, has been pretty good about showing me books similar to the title I've searched for. The Depths of Time showed up on the list, and the description (or maybe the Publisher's Weekly review) painted the book as having a great handle on time-travel. In the case of The Depths of Time, its preventing causality that gets to be a distracting issue. The end of The Depths of Time obviously points the way to book 2, but doesn't really hint at an interesting plot.

To prevent paradoxes, the past must never learn anything about the future: so the Chronologic Patrol stations ships at either end of wormholes to prevent the unauthorized from contaminating the past. Anton Koffield, captain of the surviving ship, must destroy the wormhole, thereby marooning the planet which depends on it, and stranding him in the future.

The author of a dozen science-fiction novels, he lived in Washington D.C., for many years.