Monday, March 2, 2009

The Broken Cycle by A. Bertram Chandler


John Grimes is lost inside a giant alien spaceship. In addition to being lost, he discovers that they are also in an alternate universe. The entity who has captured Grimes appears to be the "god" of this other universe. His only companion in this adventure is the policewoman-Una Freeman. The alien "god" wants them to recreate the Garden of Eden. With Grimes involved, things are not going the way the entity plans.

Chandler was an Australian born author who wrote the first Hornblower in Space series. Back in the seventies, I read and enjoyed many of the Grimes books. Some I picked up in the old Ace Double books and others in DAW editions. Somehow, I had missed out on this one until I found it in a used book store last year. The Grimes novels are classic pulp style series fiction. The length is short and the action is fast. Due to the length the plots were not as complicated as some of the space opera novels published today. In some ways I miss the shorter novels.

The Broken Cycle was not up to the quality of many of the other Grimes books. I thought the first chapters focused too much on everyone trying to sleep with Una. It seemed to dominate the plot. The rest of the novel was okay but did not put it near the top of the other books in this series. I would recommend reading The Way Back, The Anarch Lords, or To Keep the Ship.

Rating: 2 out of 5.


adamosf said...

I enjoyed Chandler's John Grimes stories when many of them appeared originally in IF and GALAXY. I have one of the SFBC volumes SURVEY CAPTAIN, but before I could buy any of the others, they stopped offering them. I should have bought them all while I had the chance.

Keep your reviews coming!

Crotchety Old Fan said...

As a long-time fan of Chandler (I maintain and am working on finishing the Rim Worlds Concordance) I have to reluctantly agree with your assessment; BC is not the best Chandler tale.

It is a necessary piece of the Grimes saga, however, and may suffer from the fact that Chandler probably felt the need to write a novel about this period in Grimes' career, rather than being inspired by any particular idea.