RogerBW's Blog

The Lilliput Legion, Simon Hawke 29 September 2023

1989 SF, ninth of its series. In 1702 Lemuel Gulliver is drinking himself to death, having encountered tiny men after a shipwreck. Obviously a job for the Time Commandos.

OK, I could take the basic impossibility of time travel, and gene-engineered monsters more or less… but six-inch-tall people with the full mental capacity of a human? The old credulity is under severe strain here.

Also there's a lot of sudden backstory. I had a brother… and now he's been killed on a mission so that I have a personal stake in it. The time-travelling CIA-equivalent weren't just stereotyped loose cannon, they have a whole side gig in trans-temporal organised crime, and the boss is trying to stamp them out, and they're trying to kill him. There's no foreshadowing, no time to build up suspicions, and so it doesn't have the emotional weight that it should.

There's plenty of fighting action, and a surprise return of a character from earlier in the series, but the whole thing feels surprisingly sketched-in; yes, there are plot developments, but what's happening is mostly what I'd expect to find in an entry in a long-running series rather than one that's sometimes managed to give its characters some slight personal growth.

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