Saturday, January 25, 2020

Book front & back covers:
"The Leaves of Time"

  • Title: The Leaves of Time
  • Author: Neal Barrett Jr. (1929-2014)
  • Illustrator of groovy cover: Mike Hinge (1931-2003)
  • Color of outer edge of pages: Purple
  • Publisher: Lancer Books
  • Publication year: 1971
  • Cover price: 75 cents (the equivalent of $4.80 today)
  • Pages: 205
  • Front cover blurb: "War explodes across the times lines — and only one man of Earth can stop the alien invasion!"
  • Dedication: "For my daughters"
  • First sentence: "DeHaviland huddled under the stubby wing and shivered."
  • Last sentence: "And Jon did..."
  • Random passage from the middle #1: "Good God, man, I don't care how good you are, this isn't something the Federal Police of one country can handle! You've got to get off your collective butts!"
  • Random passage from the middle #2: "It wasn't necessary to be an intelligence agent to read the picture. The world was holding its breath. Fingers were wrapped around triggers, and a few shots had already been fired. But not, so far, the shot that would light the big fuse. That could happen at any moment, might be happening already while he sat there, trying to solve a problem whose answers were now unimportant."
  • All these years, you've been calling them "random" passages. Are they really random? No. I have subjectively chosen most of them. Although subjectively sometimes I'm just being silly.
  • Goodreads rating: 3.71 stars (out of 5.0)
  • Amazon review excerpt: From doomsdayer520, who gave it 3-out-of-5 stars in 2009: "Here, a poorly-defined and annoyingly inscrutable supernatural demon likes to conquer worlds by spreading political chaos then sponging off of shattered societies. The demon has followed the protagonist to an alternate Earth to spread more havoc and conquer yet another world. Unfortunately, Barrett bungled the differences between time travel, parallel universes, and alternate histories; and most of the plotline involves spy vs. spy shenanigans."
  • Another review: Last November, tarbandu gave the book 1-out-of-5 stars on The PorPor Books Blog, which has been humming along since 2008 and has more than 1,300 posts. That sites describes the plot in amusing fashion: "Soldier Jon DeHaviland finds himself teleported to an alternate Earth, and the city of Vriesborg, in the country of Vinaskaland. Vinaskaland, which occupies the same territory as Canada does in 'our' world, is analogous to Sweden of the early 70s: progressive, peaceful, forward-thinking, and chock-full of gorgeous 'liberated' women! Just when DeHaviland is thanking the Fates for bringing him to a Socialist Wonderland, he receives unwelcome news: a Gorgon has followed him through the teleporter."
  • About the cover artist: Onyx Cube, compiled and edited by Ivan Richards, is a now-dormant blog that focused on the life of works of Mike Hinge. The bulk of Hinge's work was for science fiction and fantasy magazines. But Hinge also did a pair of covers for Time Magazine, including this November 5, 1973, cover focusing on the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

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