Review of The Waitabits by Eric Frank Russell

Oh my goodness, but this story made me laugh out loud. There aren’t that many that get to through to my expressed emotions these days, but this one… definitely made it.

In this extraordinary take on time, Russell puts two groups together whose sense of time just runs differently. When one species meets another, the latter being a breed apart in that they live life in the slow lane quite literally, the results are utterly comical – if one stands far enough away to view them for what they are. Recall the scene where Judy Hopps meets the sloth in Zootropolis, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Going in, I was scratching my head rather, as Russell typically drops one in the middle of a normal day with zero explanation as to what’s really going on. That’s ok – neither does the main character. But this story really hots up when one lands on the planet of the Waitabits and the inter-species interactions begin. Extremely well written with great setting and characterisation, this was one of my best reads this year.

Rating: 5/5 stars

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Review of The Weed of Time by Norman Spinrad

This was a fascinating short story. The narrator relates in it how he has taken Temp (tempus ceti), the “weed of time” referred to in the title, and then attempts to convey how it has affected his life.

In short, I think Spinrad does a brilliant job of showing the reader how the narrator is in all times at once, and how horrendous that could feel. Not an easy concept to convey, and yet I think he managed pretty well with this.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

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Review of Terminós by Dean Francis Alfar

The story is primarily about trading in time. When people don’t like their lives, or they want to change something, they can come to Mr. Henares and sell a certain amount of time. Conversely, they can also purchase time from him – a particular event, really. In the story we experience events initially from Mr. Henares’s perspective, but then we also read about his clients’ experiences. This makes for an interesting and somewhat poignant tale.

I liked the Filipino flavour of the story, and the images conveyed in the words were clear. A lovely read, with plenty of food for thought.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

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