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The Crucible of Time

(1983)
A novel by

 
I read this novel shortly after it was published and to this day it remains one of the most memorable SF stories I've ever read. It's also one of those books that I appreciate more each time I return to it, not because the book changes, but because I have learned more and so am in a better position to appreciate some of the incredibly smart things Brunner does in this novel. The story is told from the perspective of a world of intelligent aliens as they reach out to discover the universe in which they live. They have to do that in ways that are very different from our own history in details (for example, they live under water where access to the night sky is limited, which puts a crimp in early astronomy), but very similar in the abstract. The similarities arise for the simple reason that the universe in which they live is THE universe. The message here is deep and subtle and important: reality is what it is, and no matter what kind of body you have, no matter what specific environmental niche you occupy, if you are smart enough to wonder about the world you live in, and clever enough to discover ways to ask your questions well, you will discover the same immutable facts about the nature of things. Brunner shows this without ever giving a lecture or explicitly making the point. In my opinion it's a story telling tour de force that really puts the science solidly in the center of science fiction.

 
Used availability for John Brunner's The Crucible of Time


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

May 1984 : UK Hardback
Title: Crucible Of Time
Author(s): John Brunner
ISBN: 0-09-934850-0 / 978-0-09-934850-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Orbit
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

September 1983 : USA Hardback
Title: The Crucible of Time
Author(s): John Brunner
ISBN: 0-345-31224-4 / 978-0-345-31224-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Inc (T)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

June 1984 : USA Mass Market Paperback
Title: The Crucible of Time
Author(s): John Brunner
ISBN: 0-345-30235-4 / 978-0-345-30235-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

April 2014 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
Title: The Crucible of Time
Author(s): John Brunner
Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

April 2012 : Canada Kindle edition
Title: The Crucible of Time
Author(s): John Brunner
Publisher: Gateway
Availability: Amazon CA   

April 2012 : UK Kindle edition
Title: The Crucible of Time
Author(s): John Brunner
Publisher: Gateway
Availability: Amazon UK   



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