RogerBW's Blog

The Argonaut Affair, Simon Hawke 19 June 2023

1987 SF, seventh of its series. With a parallel timeline thought to be causing disruptions, the Time Commandos are sent to join Jason in his voyage to retake the Golden Fleece.

Nobody really knows what they're doing here, but when they capture someone who is biologically a centaur and genuinely believes himself to be Chiron, well, what else can you do but go and poke the situation with a stick? Until about the three-quarter mark this book is mostly infodumping Greek myth, combined with a feet-of-clay version of "how it might really have happened", and our heroes are in the dark as to whether they should be disrupting the voyage, murdering Jason, or making sure he succeeds.

Which is nothing special, but quite enjoyable, so it's a bit of a wrench when we find out what's really going on, and the remainder is mostly action, with some implausible technology brought into the service of making the myths happen more or less as they were told. Ish.

It's very slight plotting, even more so than the other books, which doesn't always mesh well with the grim manly action down at ground level. Indeed, the series has given up any pretensions to be a serious story about time travel; the "fugue sequence" described here is a different technique from the one in The Ivanhoe Gambit, and much inferior; but as an excuse for taking the characters for a brief romp through the Argonautica while remaining at least nominally an SF series it pretty much works.

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Previous in series: The Khyber Connection | Series: Time Wars | Next in series: The Dracula Caper

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