Ê Read ¼ Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card ↠´ I was really excited about this book Most of Card s works are brilliant An alt history sci fi tale centered around Christopher Columbus what could go wrong Well a lot.
The characters are emotionless, devoid of any characteristics Columbus is turned into this demi sex god who women can t resist All of this could be forgiven with a decent story, instead we get a heavy handed preaching sermon of the authors beliefs Nevermind the gaping plot holes with Pastwatch since there is little oversight This reads like a college thesis than a novel.
This book is in the key of C Minor, because it s just that tragic Final Verdict 0.
0000000000000000000000000000000000000001 Stars Sometimes, English teachers make horrible choices Pastwatch is no exception.
It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad book Three Big Things that Epically Suck About Pastwatch, in No Particular Order The First The Plot HolesIn Pastwatch, the characters go back in time and try to prevent the people of the past from dying In one scene of the book, Manjam a scientist explains to them how the Pastwatching works, but this description is shoddy at best, leaving many readers including myself totally mindfucked It leads me to wonder if Orson even knows what he s writing If you don t even understand how your world works, how do you expect us Which leads me to wonder how this teaches us, as students, anything Why would you, anon English teacher, give us this book to read What will it teach us I only learned one thing from this book to cross Orson Scott Card off my reading list Also to avoid splitting infinitives but I didn t learn this from the book itself, only from the work based around it The Second The Plot ItselfIt was boring I don t know how I can make myself any clear I didn t read this book for enjoyment, but if I did which I obviously wouldn t , I wouldn t have continued reading past the second chapter One of the chapters God only knows which one they all blend together was twenty pages, and it didn t serve any purpose There was absolutely no value The only book I ve ever read that has been that bad was Three Cups of Tea if you need an explanation of that one, you can read my review here The only scene in the entire book that I even partially liked was the last two and a half pages of chapter nine That s literally it view spoiler I also liked the ending when they were all dead hide spoiler In One Of The Most Powerful And Thought Provoking Novels Of His Remarkable Career, Orson Scott Card S Pastwatch Interweaves A Compelling Portrait Of Christopher Columbus With The Story Of A Future Scientist Who Believes She Can Alter Human History From A Tragedy Of Bloodshed And Brutality To A World Filled With Hope And Healing 4.
0 to 4.
5 stars Another superb novel by OSC Apart from Empire which I did not like, I have found Card s novels to be consistently excellent and both Speaker for the Dead and Hart s Hope are on my list of All Time Favorites with Ender s Game not far behind I was surprised to see that this novel was not among the list of nominees for any of the SF awards during its year of eligibility It was certainly worthy of being recognized as one of the best of 1996 RECOMMENDED This is an idea book, not a character book In this book, Card is exploring the idea that a group of people would deliberately go back in time to alter events in such a way that human history would work out better The height of hubris, definitely, for any group of mortals to think they could predict future events accurately enough to know what to improve I think that Card is right that humanity would have to be in the brink of extinction before they would permit such an experiment.
There are lots of ideas in this bookglobal warming, geopolitics, time travel, the complicated and interrelated history of European and ancient American peoples.
it s also an exploration of the life of Christopher Columbus, which is very interesting Columbus himself is the only fully fleshed out character in the novel The rest of the characters exist solely as props to keep the plot movingthey have just enough detail to add a little bit of human interest to the very complicated story.
I thought the book was fascinating But don t read it if you have to have a character you love in order to really enjoy a novel You won t find that here.
This is a well written work of science fiction, as are all of Card s works Like his Rachel and Leah, however, the characters of this book who pretend to be historical are not very accurate I enjoy good fiction and exciting narratives I dislike fiction masquerading as history or a work such as this blurring the lines between history and fiction so thoroughly that it is impossible to see where the imagination ends and facts begin The idea that the voyage of Columbus changed the entire face of the earth forever, bringing on Western civilization as we know it, is debatable Pedro Cabral accidentally landed in Brazil a short time later Who can say absolutely that Cabot, Cartier and the other exporers would NEVER have ventured into the Atlantic without Columbus tales of a land of plenty Secondly, it is highly far fetched for any to suppose that a final crusade to retake Constantinople was in the offing in 1492 The Great Schism was 400 years old and the Greek Orthodox people were not considered Christians Even dubious is Card s contention that the Native Americans were on the road to huge technological discoveries and massive, centralized empires worthy of competing with European powers in ship building and exploration Columbus voyage and the succeeding colonizings by European countries stopped this enormous Central American empire from taking shape I put the book down as soon as Card began expounding that Malthus was right Western culture will lead us in the year 2100 to the total destruction of the rainforest, all the topsoil in the world, and the total destruction of all arable land in the world The apocalyptic future in which massive wars have killed 90% of the world s people, but the world is still unable to feed itself is beyond ludicrous Thomas Malthus could have written this book A fanciful history and a Malthusian future build the setting of Pastwatch on false foundations I give it two stars because it is at least well written.
Orson Scott Card nos ense a como NO narrar Eso por no mencionar toda la ideolog a sin masticar qu pretende que nos comamos por su cara bonita.
Before I start this, I just have to say I have this kind of funny reaction to Card s books I may like or love a book series but when I find one that I hate, I want to tear the heavens apart and demand Card pay for my mental illness that was caused by reading it.
I mean, I hate hate hate hate with a passion that borders on religious fervor There is no meh or disappointed or even mild hatred or annoyance.
This is because Card is a very good story teller He s made a huge name for himself and this is why his bad books are terrible He believes since he s a highly respected author that it s okay to break every god damn rule of writing no, I don t me the grey area of rules or even a blending of good or bad to balance out It s like he makes a list of all the worst things a writer can do in a story and then goes at it.
This book, Pastwatch, is perhaps the worst book I ve EVER read First off, this book is about a group of scientists from the future that make a kind of devise that allows them to look into the past They can t change it but they ll research it and such So, as they go along, one of the scientists is looking back through her genealogy which is supposed not allowed I m not sure I think my mind blocked it In this lab is a man who is researching the past too.
Eventually, they find a way to actually go back in time Their attempt was to stop the the massacres that followed Christopher Columbus s journey They did and find out that a huge massacre happens in Europe The blood thirsty savages totally made mountains of sacrificed people So they change it back.
The only good parts of this book is the stories from the past That s the only time he s telling a story Every where else you ll find the book to be a huge soapbox for his fake science I mean, people literally have a ten or twenty page discussion on Card s whimsy science then the two will part One will leave the lab and down the hall, that person will find another to bump into and thus have another ten or twenty page discussion on his science This bumping into each other thing just be a good 90% It goes ON and ON and ON and OOOOOOOOOOOOON 95% of this book is just info dumping Dumping isn t the right word Info vomiting is like it Card, I don t care about your personal science You re obviously proud and, hey, power to you But spare the rest of us And those two in the lab I mention Yeah, even though they rarely interacted and barely spoke to each other and there is absolutely NO expression of even mild romantic interest or friendship , one day you find they ve gotten married and have retired, and now their two GROWN children also a girl and a boy are doing the same exact research and starting at the exact same place that the newly wed newly formed family newly empty nesters newly retired never to appear again scientists were at before they went poof This is like an instant thing It s baffling I m like WHAT Did they speak two sentences to each other The Christopher Columbus this is also incredibly racist His supposition is that if Columbus hadn t got their and killed all the brown people, they would ve come to Europe in a couple years as he says the people were almost at the same point in their ship building just give it a couple years type thing to kill all the white folk He says this while completely ignoring the fact that Columbus totally wiped them out A couple years Really So how then, if these natives were so terrifying, did Columbus massacre them It was like the worst apologetic argument supporting the wide spread genocide the Europeans wrought on the new world And using the innocent white folk as sacrifices He didn t even bother researching that They didn t just pick someone up off the street They had special wars and such to get the sacrifices eg, the Flower Wars If anyone else tried to submit this book for publication, they would ve been blacklisted I like Card However, I don t search out his books any This book and a handful of his other books have taught me how foolish to seek him out.
No one can begrudge Card for using Sci Fi as a field for propaganda the medium itself world creation world defining by nature almost requires it But unless you re rather fond of the idea that mormon family values are somehow universal, and extend throughout the whole history of humanity, than you might not go for this book I didn t If you re the sort who watches the history channel and finds it profound, somehow missing the propaganda within a narrative of human actions throughout recorded time which asserts a long succession of wars to be an adequate measure of the passage of human activity, than perhaps you ll have no problem with Card s proposed defense for european colonialism his thesis it could have been worse we could have let the natives handle things.
Tagiri is a historian who has used to Tempoview to trace her ancestors back seven generations to a mountainous village in Africa Tagiri begins to follow the lives of the village s women in reverse, from death to birth, a method that takes her from the misery of one of her subjects to its cause the abduction of the woman s son by a slaver Tagiri later makes an even alarming discovery when one of her subjects relates a dream of being watched by a dark woman seven generations in the future This indicates that Pastwatch might not be as neutral as believed.
It is Tagiri s theory that the genocide of the New World began with the return of Christopher Columbus to Spain, where he made extravagant promises of gold and spices he had not actually found on his maiden voyage Tagiri s colleague Hassan is promoted to what becomes known as The Columbus Project, a study to determine what exactly led Columbus to cross the Atlantic in the first place and whether his discovery might be stopped Tagiri and Hassan marry and have a daughter, Diko, who grows up observing scenes of Columbus life so often she comes to regard him as an uncle.
The novel forks off to trace the rise of Columbus, son of a Genovese weaver, born without wealth or title He watches his tradesman father disrespected by the gentleman class and becomes obsessed with the procurement of gold to alter his family s fortunes Learning everything he can about marine travel, charts and navigation, Columbus achieves some notoriety for exhibiting bravery and surviving a pirate attack on a convoy to Flanders He improves his social standing by taking as wife the daughter of the late governor of Porto Santo, the homely Felipa Moniz Columbus neglects her and their son to focus on his true passion achieving his destiny by crossing the Atlantic.
Diko becomes so skilled at using the latest in Pastwatch technology, the TruSite II, that she locates the moment in history Columbus decided to cross the Atlantic After being shipwrecked by the pirates, he experiences a prophetic vision in the form of the Holy Trinity The spirit speaks to Columbus, instructing him to sail westwardThere are great kingdoms there, rich in gold and powerful in armies They have never heard the name of my Only Begotten, and they die unbaptized It is my will that you carry salvation to them, and bring back the wealth of these lands With Diko s alarming discovery, two additional researchers join the Columbus Project Kemal is a Turkish meteorologist who used the Tempoview to study historic sea level rise this led him to the Red Sea, where Kemal traced the origins of both the Noah myth and the legend of Atlantis He begins studying the rise of civilization in Mesoamerica when he learns of Tagiri s research into stopping slavery Hunahpu is a Mayan historian whose thesis that a great civilization was on the rise in the Caribbean until the arrival of Columbus proves unpopular with his colleagues, except for Diko.
She believes that Columbus prophetic vision and his obsession with sailing west was hardly divine but the work of some alternate version of Pastwatch, which reached back in time and tampered with history, perhaps to avert the conquest of Europe by the bloodthirsty tribes of Mesoamerica While this might have spared war in Europe, the alternate history enslaved the indigenous people of the New World, a historical evil that The Columbus Project seeks to atone for While Columbus campaigns the court of Queen Isabella for a charter across the Atlantic, Diko, Hunahpu and Kemal volunteer to be sent back to stop him from succeeding, at least, succeeding as history recorded it As a result, they will destroy the present and everyone left behind in it Pastwatch is science fiction first and foremost, historical fiction second and maybe thriller much, much further down the line In spite of this, I was enthralled by the novel and once the time travelers meet Columbus and begin alternating history, our history, I couldn t flip the pages fast enough The novel started off fuzzy for me I found it difficult to get a handle on exactly what was happening in the 23rd century, who all these characters with the strange names were Even the conceit of Pastwatch with monitors that see into the past seemed sketchy to me.
What makes the novel so spellbinding are the characters Card does an outstanding job of populating his future trek with compelling human beings, scientists cut with passion and intelligence that I was able to relate to throughout It was refreshing to find two African women and a Mayan and Turk featured so prominently there s nary a white man around I was also surprised by how compelling the historical scenes were Without the benefit of tech and with the outcome already known by history, Card devotes just as much energy to the launch of the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, a mission of discovery that parallels the efforts of Pastwatch 700 years in the future.
I felt that the mechanisms for time travel might ve been explained better and that it took too long for the time travelers to physically arrive in the past, but I did enjoy the cutting back and forth between science and historical fiction Rather than blasting off into the Delta Quadrant, the drama is intertwined in the genocide and injustices of the past And the speculation that Card gives in to late to build a history where the discovery of the New World turned it much differently, and much beneficial, for all interested parties, was a pleasure to read.