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This review is from The Reference Library, a column by Tom Easton in the May 2001 issue of industry leading Analog magazine.
You can find e-books at a great many places on the Net, and many aren't worth much. But Bookmice.com is worth a visit, judging from Richard J. Sutcliffe's The Peace.
Sutcliffe is a professor of computing science and mathematics at Trinity Western University in British Columbia. His fiction he very aptly calls "Christian Science Fiction with an Irish flavour." The setting is the "Worlds of the Timestream," a handful of parallel Earths separated by important crisis points. One such point was the Crucifixion; in our own Earth, it happened as we believe; in others, Pilate released Jesus, and the people were able to watch the Crucifixion and Resurrection as a sort of very convincing shadow play before the worlds broke all contact. Christianity developed in the latter worlds as well, but with a very different flavor, especially once Ireland came to dominate the world under the High Lord of Heaven. Technology developed centuries ahead of our own schedule, biowars impaired fertility so much that population remained low, and Irish customs of honor came to govern war and politics.
But the scoundrels are ever with us. Lucy and Sally, secret agents in pursuit of atomic secrets on one world, find themselves jumped to another and married to a pair of heroes who should be high in the councils of Tara if the King had not been deposed and his clan banned for sixty years. In the decades ahead, they and their men and others of honor will stymie attempts to spread plague and war even as they build up a web of sworn loyalties that will someday permit their grandchildren to reclaim the throne.
That day remains well in the future, however. The Peace is but the first volume in the Interregnum series, with the sequel yet to come (although you can get the first four chapters of The Friends by visiting the author's home page at http://www.arjay.bc.ca/).
The pace and prose are well up to the standard familiar in paper books, and the convolutions of politics and character are enough to satisfy any fan of epics. It's worth its price, and then some. --Tom Easton. (copied here by permission)
I recently had the opportunity to re-read (yes, for the second time) The Peace. That means I must have liked it the first time I read it. Truthfully, I never have been enamored by the alternate reality scenarios, most often experienced in books by Harry Turtledove. Fortunately, this one absolutely grabbed my attention and I didn't want to put it down. The concept of a modern day religious world, ruled by the king of Ireland, with advanced technology that conducts wars using swords was absolutely fascinating. Combine that with the fact that there are 5 other worlds/dimensions or whatever makes it even more intriguing and opens up the possibility for all sorts of related plots and books. Most importantly to me, the author told a great story. I remained interested the entire time. I grew up on Robert Heinlein, who is my all time favorite. If you like him, you should like The Peace. Different genre, but great story.
Volume I of the Worlds in Time Stream, THE PEACE, is as complex as its name. Encompassing many twists and turns, this political, action, sci-fi/thriller doubles back on itself more than a mountain road. Plots work within plots. Novels within novels.
Excellent writing. I had other things to do but I couldn't stop reading.
You announced it as a Christian book, but it is very legible for non-christians and even non-believers. In Chapter four you introduce the religious element, but in such a way that it kindles the reader's interest, rather than turn him off. (This is my guess; I can't be objective because I am very interested in religious matters.)
Looking at "our Earth" from the perspective of an alternative world is also something I liked; I haven't often (or at all) come that across in the many sf books that I have read.
Nevertheless, as I said, I read it with great interest. Your style is very professional, no disturbing mistakes, and easy to read. The story contains a lot of different elements, many of them are original in the way you use them. Very creative. I hope you'll get many readers. -- Joost Boekhoven, http://www.gemstories.com and http://gem_99.tripod.com/download.html
Highly enjoyable... "The Peace" by Richard Sutcliffe captured me in the first chapter and continued to the end. Never have I read a Sci-Fi book that was so entrancing that I couldn't put it down. I encourage any Sci-Fi fan to read "The Peace", you'll be quite amazed. Hint, Hint, I'm waiting for a sequel.
Kim's Reviews~~Reviewed by Kim Gaona http://kimgaona.com
This series combines chivalry, Irish legend, modern technology and fantasy into a complex integration of plot lines worthy of real life. It is a testimony of the author's creativity and talent to bring the characters of this universe alive and make them believable.
Those who enjoy a mix of creative history, fantasy, science fiction and complex plots from a God-entered worldview should find this series an intriguing challenge. While there is romance, there is also death and violence. The book is not for the feint of heart. It does take the tangle threads and weaves them into a tapestry of hard to forget characters. It also makes you think, Maybe...?
Carolyn R. Scheidies
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