Exiles of Time
Reviewed date: 2013 Jan 21
Generally, I would detest a book like Exiles of Time because it is a time travel story, but in this case, I detest Exiles of Time because it is a racist time travel story.
Lance Vidor is an archaeologist working in Egypt. That's pretty bad--the heat, the sand, etc.--but he also has to deal with the natives. You know, the "greasy Arabs" (p32), with their "greasy piety," (p11) their "oily and unctuous" nature (p15), their "fat hands" (p17) and "beady eyes" (p17). Their "swarthy features" and "pudgy hands" (p33) and their "dark, savage" faces (p47). And their religion! "They are Mohammedans, swift to anger when their religious beliefs are offended." (p32). But fortunately, "the only thing stronger than an Arab's hatred is his greed." (p43). And speaking of greed, did I mention the Jew with "beady black eyes" (p64) who just happens to be a money-grubbing pawnbroker?
All that aside (but how can you really put all that aside?) it's not a terribly good book. Lance Vidor finds the ancient Nur-ed-Dam--the Light of Blood--amulet. It transports him back in time and space to the ancient city of Spel in the nation of Merou. This ancient civilization hopes that Lance can help them avert the apocalypse: a huge comet on a collision course with Earth.
Of course Lance helps avoid the catastrophe. Instead of destroying Earth, it merely singes the crust a little, destroying all civilization. And then Lance makes a discovery: he isn't in the past, he's in the future! But he's also in the past! Time is stuck in a loop. Um, yeah. That's even more bizarre than most theories of time travel.