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The Reality War Book1: The Slough of Despond

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3 comments on “The Reality War Book1: The Slough of Despond

  1. David Mark Brown "hache" on said:
    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Future history, beautifully done, March 2, 2012
    By 
    David Mark Brown “hache” (Nampa, Idaho) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Reality War Book1: The Slough of Despond (Kindle Edition)

    Some of you may recognize the “slough of despond” from the classic tale, “Pilgrim’s Progress.” The connection is just one way this time-travel, science fiction novel sets its self apart from the pack. I’m one of those sorts who loves history as well as science fiction. So Taylor’s use of Elstow Abbey as one of the time traveling stations scores points with me.

    The main character, Radlan, has been stationed upstream of time (the 1970′s through 90′s) longer than anyone else in the history of the service created to protect the timeline. Possibly too long. Thus begins the tension in the story from page one.

    A love interest from the past complicates his assignment to not only protect the timeline but also protect witnesses the future government places in the past for protection. Tension in the 1990′s, tension in the 2900′s. You get the idea. Well, before it’s all done time starts to go sideways and the result is a wild ride well worth reading.

    Terse, tense and emotional, the Slough of Despond generates a cool balance between science, history and human relationship. Read it! Review it! Share it!

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  2. Ray Gordon on said:
    4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A great Novel, February 14, 2012
    By 

    This review is from: The Reality War Book1: The Slough of Despond (Kindle Edition)

    Wow! If this is the first novel written by T.C. then roll on the next one. The Slough of Despond is a Time Travel Science fiction story with a difference. One usually reads about adventures where a person from the present time travels either to the future or to the past, but in this novel it is about future people coming to live in the present. Cleverly weaved into the story is the battle between right and wrong, or duty versus desire. The story is set in the sleepy English village of Elstow a suburb of Bedford in England where our main character Radlan Saravanan (born in 2951) runs a small business out of a Tudor cottage in 1992.

    I will not spoil the plot for the reader but would like to mention that the setting in Elstow is authentic as is the description of the places Radlan visits in Bedford. I visited Elstow about 10 years ago whilst house hunting for my son and had a few drinks in the bars in Bedford described in the book. Now, having read the story, I have a desire to trace the tracks that Radlan followed and let my mind imagine the time travellers inhabiting the area. The old cottages and the bars will still be there, as will the remains of the Abbey and the church. The area is well worth a visit by the casual tourist. I have also to confess that I have started to read John Bunyan’s “Pilgrims Progress”.

    Although I think that the novel is very well written and the story gripping I was dismayed by the inclusion of a description of Radlan making love to his girlfriend. This was not required to enhance the plot and the scene could have been glossed over. It is OK to have a passage where Radlan makes love to his girlfriend, but why give a very explicit blow by blow account of the event? This passage will upset people of a certain age and gender and should be left to the writers of pornographic literature. I hope that T.C. Taylor will rewrite this event in a more universally acceptable way when he does his first revision. Apart from this comment I congratulate the author on his fine novel and wish him all the success he deserves in the future. I shall now read the short stories T.C,Taylor has already published in Greyhart Press.

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  3. Volpot on said:
    0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    A Yawner, April 28, 2012
    By 
    Volpot

    This review is from: The Reality War Book1: The Slough of Despond (Kindle Edition)

    I got through 50% of this book before I simply got too bored to continue.

    The basic story is that in the distant future, there is a civil war going on and the world government (presumably good guys) have used a time machine to hide some witnesses for trials against the (presumably) bad guys in the year 1992. The protagonist is the station keeper from the future who lives in 1992 with the job of looking after these witnesses.

    Now that fairly simple setup got me interested, but after that the book, for me, descended into a muddled and boring mess. How so?

    – The political situation in the future is never really explained. Just exactly who are the bad guys and why do they act as they do? That’s a fairly basic flaw, because without an understanding of just what is going on in the future, how exactly are we to understand the behavior of all of the characters in the book?
    – We get some kind of mumbo jumbo socialist philosophy that seems to guide everyone’s actions as the author keeps stressing, but everyone seems willing to abandon that same philosophy in their interpersonal relations. Again, we really don’t get a picture of what is going on outside the protagonist’s own thoughts.
    – This philosophy, espoused by the characters from the future and also seemingly held in favor by the author, was forced on humanity by space aliens who destroyed one city on each continent as well as the entire Australian continent (sorry, mates) as a process for allowing humanity to join their galactic nirvana. As is often the case, the purveyors of social harmony are willing to sacrifice millions to achieve their utopia. Sorry Mr. Taylor, maybe the ends justify the means in your book, but not mine.
    – But the real problem is that after 50% of the book, nothing at all had really happened. At least not externally. What we had a great deal of is page after page of the protagonist’s angst about his life and equally protracted pages of mental introspection by the other characters. Now that I think of it, you could probably fit all of the actual dialogue from the 50% of the book I read into about 10 pages. The rest of the book consists of mental exposition…though oddly enough we still know almost nothing about the characters after halfway through the book.

    Though not enough so to get me to read the last half, the book was exciting in one respect: the pages of soft porn. No, just kidding. About the exciting part, not the soft porn part.

    The sex scenes were gratuitous in my opinion, lasting longer than required to convey the emotional attachment the protagonist had with the contemporary female in the story and serving in my opinion as nothing but titillation.

    Bottom line, if you like page after page of male angst by the main character and page after page of mental exposition by everyone else, little to no action of any type, little to no character development, and a completely muddled storyline, all while being fed a socialist philosophy that only a clueless college radical would like, then this book is for you. Not for me, though.

    Now with that review, why two stars and not one? Well, one of the soft porn scenes was a little hot…

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