Read Time Pressure by Spider Robinson Online


A strange blue light has brought a visitor from the future to an American commune in Nova Scotia. The visitor's name is Rachel, a beautiful woman from another civilization... and another time. Her one-way mission is simple: collect data on the past of the human race.But why does she risk immortality for this mission? Why are her methods so seductive, so devastating? And wiA strange blue light has brought a visitor from the future to an American commune in Nova Scotia. The visitor's name is Rachel, a beautiful woman from another civilization... and another time. Her one-way mission is simple: collect data on the past of the human race.But why does she risk immortality for this mission? Why are her methods so seductive, so devastating? And will this emissary from the future destroy Earth's past?Only time will tell....

Title : Time Pressure
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780441809332
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 243 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Time Pressure Reviews

  • Rebecca
    2019-06-10 06:10

    So while this is the second book in the Lifehouse/Deathkiller trilogy, it doesn't actually feel like it until three chapters from the end. In which he does the exact same exposition dump thing as in the previous book, only even more egregiously.This was written several years after Mindkiller, and the maturation shows. There are hints of humor missing from the earlier book, and his character-building is far better done. (And I'd liked the characters in the previous book.) Unfortunately, the protagonist gradually reveals himself to be rather problematic, deliberately so. It's plot-necessary, it turns out. But it means you spend the entire book embedded in the head of someone leaping to conclusions and saying, "no, that makes no sense, you don't have enough evidence to believe that." Twice, his conclusions turn out to be exactly right, which is ridiculous. The third time, his conclusion (the most exasperating of all) does turn out to be desperately, desperately wrong. But I'd spent so much time being annoyed that by the time Sam realizes his mistake, I'd already written him off. It does not help that most of the intricately, beautifully drawn secondary characters are also annoying as hell. Especially the Sunrise commune gang, most of whom I suspect were modeled after neighbors of the author, lovingly drawing on their strengths and flaws. Unfortunately, since I didn't have a preexisting affection for them, I just found them all annoying. I think perhaps I'm the wrong person for this book--I see very little romantic about the hippie commune model of arguing over every last thing to achieve a consensus. I've been in that dynamic--it's never really a consensus (and it isn't here), it's just the strong personalities bullying weaker personalities into agreeing, but forcing them to also declare that their previous resistance was a form of psychological weakness and "hang ups" in the process.But really, it's the ending. The never-fully-justified, near-death experience ending that just dumps all the info that's been withheld in the most graceless manner possible. The problem I'm seeing here is that Robinson wants to write about huge, universe-shattering ideas in theory, but in practice he actually writes about small people dealing with small problems. There's nothing wrong with that, only he has the grand master plan running in the background and can't figure out a way to tie them together. There is brilliant work to be done about people trying to live everyday lives in the shadow of world-shaking events. (Constellation Games is one I've read recently.) But you can't make your big events the secretive conspiracy based kind if you want that to be your plot. But Robinson wants to have his cake and eat it too--he keeps his characters, and thus his readers, entirely in the dark, and then substitutes a grand reveal for a climax. "Here's what actually was going on all along, which no one ever could have guessed! Oh, and I guess that fixes your little piddly problem, too." It's a cheat. The characters couldn't have guessed because the author refused to tell them. Oh, and I'm really tired of hearing about every woman's magnificent tits. Repeatedly. The amount of sex and pot use in both books goes beyond gratuitous into annoying.There's a third book. I read the first two chapters. There's a deep, heart-rending scene about a daughter watching her mother die in the hospital. Which is promptly dropped for a sex-and-drugs scene. I like Robinson's character-building quite a bit. But I'm done with the sex, drugs, and exposition. Maybe I'll try the Callahan series at some point, but I'm not finishing this one.

  • Swankivy
    2019-06-10 05:42

    I didn't know that this was eventually going to turn into sort of a sequel--interesting. All I can say is I am now definitely, indisputably a Spider Robinson fan and his writing style makes it possible for me to not only endure but actually enjoy hard sf plots. I especially liked the concept of something bizarre and weird happening to a character and how he rationalizes NOT running from a sight that would set most normal people peeing into their boots: Speculative fiction fans have been waiting for a naked chick from the future to appear in the woods all their lives. :D No, you don't run--you grin and go forward.

  • Isblue
    2019-06-13 00:46

    A science fiction novel with hippies and time travel set in a Nova Scotia commune. Only Spider could have wrote this book.

  • Tim
    2019-06-25 04:58

    I guarantee that every word of this story is a lie.This isn't a book about time travel, or even sci-fi concepts. It is a story about hippies and hippy culture. And it's great (although quite adult-themed for a book written in the mid-80s).I guarantee that every word of this story is the truth.(Want a crazy trip? Read this book alongside Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land."

  • Peter
    2019-06-01 05:51

    A woman, discovered naked in a snowstorm, is eventually revealed to be from the future collecting data on contemporary humans and risking her immortality in the process in a sympathetically-drawn early-1970s hippie commune in Nova Scotia. This has appealing characters that stay in the memory (although the ending is a little too pat). 4.5 stars.

  • Mike
    2019-06-07 07:01

    Time Pressure was a re-read for me. I remember when I first read it I wanted to go to the Bay of Fundy and when I re-read it I realised I still do. The story is very much hippy/late 60s/early 70s culture. Yes its a little strange and too good to be true at times, but it was still a likeable and readable story.

  • Denis
    2019-05-30 05:56

    Spider Spider Spider. I love your way of telling a story. You write as if you are telling the truth, no matter how fantastic that truth is. I read “Mind Killer” twice because I so love the way you told that story but have not yet been able to write a review... You write about big events or ideas that have fallen upon (small) or rather ordinary people. It is why I read you. “Time Pressure” has all those elements, yet I found much of it difficult to get through. I know I know, it was written quite awhile ago – over twenty years – and those were different times but that is one item to get off my chest: It may because I’ve been raised by a "Mrs. Grundy" type and am thus somewhat inhibited, but I did not need that much erotica to grok that Hippies love to play night games with it each others sexual organs, caring less which they are and who they belong to. I actually put the book away for a year or so until I got over it and gave it another try.Oh, and "Mucus the Mucilage Moose" which plays such a pivotal part in the tale, though mildly clever and humorous, was also a bit of a pain. Everybody knows of your obvious Heinlein influence – who wouldn’t especially after having actually met the man – Wow! He was also my first personal favorite and is responsible for turning a forty year old, near illiterate, into a fanatical collector and obsessive reader of sf, but I found this one read more like a Sturgeon novel. Particularly his 1986 Swan song, “Godbody”. And that is meant as a compliment, though I had the same difficulty with that one as I did with “Time Pressure” – my fault not yours. Besides that, I loved the family feeling within the commune society. The Om chants mixed with the music was great stuff. I bookmarked these segments for my yoga practicing wife to read. It’s good stuff. Denise participated in a yoga session in San Francisco, and described an Om chant that went very much like the one described in this book. You also do very well with descriptions of both the joy and pleasure of good coffee and pot, and in this novel, you did not let me down.It was mostly the last third of the novel that felt like the brand of sf Spider writing that I’ve read and loved, yet the surprising direction you chose was not entirely convincing to me. Nonetheless, it’s your story and you are free to tell it and do with it as you please.Overall, "Time Pressure" was not my favorite of your novels – which are by the way: “Mind Killer”, the excellent “Variable Star” (looking forward to the sequel), “Free Lunch”, the two “Russell/Zandor/Nika Mysteries” and of course your masterpiece collaboration “Stardance Trilogy” – I will definitely read on with “Lifehouse”.

  • Julie Decker
    2019-05-31 22:56

    Sam's a Canadian hippie musician type, and he basically lives off the land, parties with his equally hippieish friends, collects sap for syrup, and reads a lot of science fiction. So when he finds a bald naked lady in the woods, he's pretty sure she's some kind of mysterious SF character--a time traveler, an alien, a mystical being, whatever--and he's all about stepping into one of his fantasies. Rachel, as she is called, gradually reveals some of her questionable past (well, future), displays telepathic abilities, and engages in various types of (ahem) interaction with Sam and his friends, but she does have a reason for arriving where and when she did, and her mission challenges what we know about causality, reality, and the mind.I really liked Sam's little hippie culture (including the commentary on vegetarianism), and though I wasn't big on the rather odd sex scenes, I did think they made sense in context. As the plot built up about what exactly Rachel is doing there, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't one of the annoyingly common time travel tropes--killing or saving someone who needs to die at a different time, for instance. It was a really interesting idea, and though it's a little disturbing at the end, I thought it was clever. It leaned toward tying things up extremely tightly (which I thought was slightly unnecessary), but except for a little bit of really weird thoughts about women that Sam has, I enjoyed reading about him and Rachel. Robinson has a really likable storytelling style even if you don't like what he's saying, too, and I'm not much of a hard SF fan so that's tough to do for me. I should say that of course as a speculative fiction reader myself, I did recognize certain tendencies that Sam and his friend had and appreciated how accurate they were.

  • JonSnow
    2019-06-05 03:10

    This book is amazing. I have lived around where it takes place. It's a strange thing reading a book about a part of the world you grew up in. I cannot give this book any less than the 5 stars it deserves.This book will make you THINK. The ideas throughout this book are quite profoundly intriguing. It isn't until almost the very end of the book that this ties in with MINDKILLER. And boy, does it ever tie in. The ending is so peculiar and compelling that it reminds me in some ways of Asimov's Foundation series later sequels.I also love the Robert Heinlein references, and the use of "grok"!! I own a copy of every single novel Robert Heinlein ever wrote... There were no hippie communes when I lived in the valley near North Mountain, but his depiction of the province of Nova Scotia is very much accurate, and flattering. This book made me more proud to call myself a Nova Scotian.I am at some point in the next year, if luck prevails, buying land on North Mountain in fact, from my best friend, with a brook running through the property. A home away from home, back where I grew up.

  • Josephine
    2019-06-26 06:58

    I have a certain fondness for Robinson's descriptions of communie/hippie life and how the residents of same would deal with a visitor from...the future? (it's been about ten years since I read it, sorry), though for some reason the only thing that sticks with me is the protagonist's obsession with retrieving "Mucus the Mucilage Moose" which plays a pivotal point in his discovery of why exactly that mysterious woman has appeared, stark naked, in the snow in the wilds of Canada.Unfortunately, I do remember that it's not great literature, or transcendent science fiction. Read it if you like Robinson's other stuff, but if you don't, don't worry about tracking it down. I enjoyed it but it's definitely mind candy.

  • Travis
    2019-06-22 03:41

    odd mix of artists and hippies, living in a snowbound commune discover a lost, naked time traveler and then ...not much happens, but alot of people talking about it.This connects to another of Spider's books, 'Mindkiller' I think, but doesn't stand on it's own.I love Spider and this book has a nice feel, but this book just left me feeling 'blah'.

  • Lindsay (Santafefan)
    2019-05-31 06:08

    Author paints an interestingly rich picture of a hippy community, the background for this story. I found the book engaging- until The Secret Is Revealed. That "secret" didn't hold water. So convoluted and weird that I lost interest.

  • Cory Neverla
    2019-05-31 06:56

    Read this when I was fifteen, first time I ever read about hippies trying to cross the border to Canada and about polyamoury and sex. Probably not the most appropriate book for a fifteen year old but reading Robinson's description of the Bay of Fundy really made me wish I was there.

  • Laurie
    2019-06-25 05:07

    This book has had played an important part in my understanding of "spirit". It comes in the trappings of a rather humorous take on the 60's and all that entails. Interesting trappings, but trappings all the same. It's the IDEAS that made me really like this book!

  • Helen
    2019-06-09 22:48

    deeply erotic and hopeful story

  • Lady Mockingbird
    2019-06-28 04:48

    I always enjoy Spider's thought processes. It has been many years since I first read this series. It is like revisiting an old and close friend, with whom one had list touch for a while.

  • Amyem
    2019-06-01 04:43

  • Jeff Youngstrom
    2019-06-27 04:02

    My review from June 13, 1995My review from March 31, 1996

  • Kevin Driskill
    2019-05-28 05:49

    Spider is a master. I like everything I've read. The down to earth way he spins a fantastic tale draws you in inevitability.