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The Best Science Fiction Books
Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Card
Genre: Science Fiction
Type: Individual Book

Learn more about Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus on Wikipedia

Reviews for Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus: Rate this book

Columbus  - posted by Kale 10-18-2007 23:40
This is a great idea for a story that could only come from the mind of Orson Scott Card. Despite being fictional, I felt it had a lot of historical accuracy, especially with the social institutions of history.

A Great Time Travel Book  - posted by Wade Peacock 06-30-2007 06:05
After over a century of timetravel books one would think all clever ideas have been used. Go back in time, step on a butterfly, and because of it, change the future government to a dictatorship. Invent a time machine so you can go back and save yourself from accidental drowning, which you know is going to happen because you remember it happening. Or, of course, have a fling in the past and become your own ancestor. In Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, Orson Scott Card has come up with an original timetravel concept Protagonists must go back in time to change a history which they have already changed once. However, because it would be impossible to know if the past we have is the "original" or "correct" past, the characters do not know they are fixing their own mistake. They just try to change what appears to be the most crucial turning point in history. I enjoyed the realization that although Columbus's encounter with the western hemisphere is seen by many as a terrible tragedy which must be repaired if life is to continue, in the context of the book, there was originally something worse. I enjoyed the idea that the original time travel in the book only allowed for observation of the past, not for altering it. Living in a world where all of the mysteries of history have been solved would make for an interesting book even if nothing else were added to it. While the subtitle, "The Redemption of Christopher Columbus" refers to what the characters in the book are trying to do, "redeem Columbus through their repairing the damage he caused", there is more to it. The Columbus that Card gives us is not the terrible genocidal racist current history commentators talk about. This book seems to say, "Don't judge a man without knowing all of the facts about him." Since we can't go back in time to see the reasons for Columbus's choices, we are in no position to condemn the man, (especially if, as the characters discover, his choices were made because of something THEY did the last time they tried to mess with history.) Knowing more about the man, and the reasons for his actions (including the character's complicity in them) redeems Columbus in a way. Maybe he is not such a villain. Thus he is reddeem in the book, and out of the book in the real world. I also enjoyed how the characters were forced to come up with a solution to their own problems after all of the discoveries about the past are made. I liked what they came up with. While I detest the "we have destroyed mother earth with our polluting and overpopulating ways" idea, Card has to come up with a motivation for the character to do something as drastic as changing the past. Pastwatch is so short it can be read and enjoyed in a very short time. History lovers with any imagination will like this book. Science Fiction fans who thought they'd heard every good timetravel idea will like this book.

Pastwatch  - posted by Joye 03-20-2007 17:17
I really liked this book. It brought up some ideas that really had me thinking for a long time after. It made you think a lot about what the future would really be like if history were changed. Very thought provoking.

Science History?  - posted by Rocky Keele 03-17-2007 18:05
This was a strange book. It blended science fiction and history. About an alternate version of Christopher Columbus' voyage.

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