Download The Big Time epub book
Author: Fritz Leiber
ISBN13: 978-0759292819
Title: The Big Time
Format: mobi azw lit doc
ePUB size: 1361 kb
FB2 size: 1496 kb
DJVU size: 1324 kb
Language: English
Category: Classics
Publisher: (November 17, 2009)
Pages: 126

The Big Time by Fritz Leiber

Before we're properly awake, we're Recruited into the Big Time and hustled into tunnels and burrows outside our space-time, these miserable closets, gray sacks, puss pockets-no offense to this Place-that the Spiders have created, maybe by gigantic implosions, but no one knows for certain, and then we're sent off on all sorts of missions into the past.

The Big Time is not an action-packed sci-fi adventure with lots of alien liquefactions. The Big Time is also a book about war. It is clear that the constant to-ing and fro-ing is affecting our combatants. Their nerves are shot, their behaviour erratic, with paranoia and weariness often exhibited.

You can't know there's a war on-for the Snakes coil and Spiders weave to keep you from knowing it's being fought over your live and dead body! Illustrated by FINLAY. CHAPTER 1. When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly's done. When the battle's lost and won.

Fritz Leiber () is best known as a fantasy writer, but his achievements and influence are also considerable in the horror and science fiction fields. One of his major SF works is the Change War series, about rival time-traveling armies locked in a bitter, age-old war for control of existence; the battles frequently alter the course of human history. The most important work of Leiber& Change War series is the Hugo Award-winning novel The Big Time, in which doctors, entertainers, and wounded soldiers find themselves treacherously trapped with an activated atomic bomb inside the Place, a room existing outside of space-time. It& not one of Leiber& strongest novels: the cutesy-girlish narrative voice is unconvincing, while the demands of describing time travel and time paradoxes inevitably strain the prose.

The Big Time (1958) is a short science fiction novel by American writer Fritz Leiber. Awarded the Hugo Award during 1958, The Big Time was published originally in two parts in Galaxy Magazine's March and April 1958 issues, illustrated by Virgil Finlay. It was subsequently reprinted in book form several times. The Big Time is a story involving only a few characters, but with a vast, cosmic back story.

Chapter 1. Enter three hussars. The Creature from Cleveland Depths. The Night of the Long Knives. Bullet With His Name. Nice Girl With 5 Husbands. Dr. Kometevsky's Day. By Fritz Leiber.

You can't know there's a war on for the Snakes coil and Spiders weave to keep you from knowing it's being fought over your live and dead body! Illustrated by FINLAY.

When it started, I had been on the Big Time for a thousand sleeps and two thousand nightmares, and working in the Place for five hundred-one thousand. Entertainment is our business and we give them a bang-up time and send them staggering happily back into action, though once in a great while something may happen to throw a wee shadow on the party. I am dead in some ways, but don't let that bother you - I am lively enough in others.

Fritz Leiber (1910-1992) may be best known as a fantasy writer, but he published widely and successfully in the horror and science fiction fields. One of his major SF creations is the Change War, a series of stories and short novels about rival time-traveling forces locked in a bitter, ages-long struggle for control of the human universe where battles alter history and then change it again until there's no certainty about what might once have happened. The most notable work of the series is the Hugo Award-winning novel The Big Time, in which doctors, entertainers, and wounded soldiers find themselves treacherously trapped with an activated atomic bomb inside the Place, a room existing outside of space-time. Leiber creates a tense, claustrophobic SF mystery, and a brilliant, unique locked-room whodunit. In addition to the Hugo, Nebula, Derleth, Lovecraft, and World Fantasy Awards, Fritz Leiber received the Grand Master of Fantasy (Gandalf) Award, the Life Achievement Lovecraft Award, and the Grand Master Nebula Award.
Reviews: 7
I'm not going to review the book as a book; I'm going to look at the issues with the version being given away for the Kindle. There are some formatting issues which get in the way of enjoying the book.

First, the quote at the beginning of the book is chopped off at the right hand margin. On my Kindle, fourth font size, it reads as follows"

You can't know there's a ware on--f
Snakes coil and Spiders weave to keep yo
knowing it's being fought over your li
dead body!

If you go to the smallest font size, it goes down to two lines, but still the right margin is truncated. My guess is that the quote has a negative margin setting.

No Table of Contents

The Five Way Control doesn't let you skip from one section to another since there are no sections defined in the bar at the bottom of the screen.

It doesn't take all that long to do a halfway decent job of formatting a book. Since this is the only Kindle version available for this book, it would be nice if someone had taken the hour to do so.
Go back to 1957 and try to understand a SF writer.

You are obliged by publishers to have these ridiculous book covers, usually girls in mini skirts blowing humanoid aliens to smithereens, the exact opposite of that cool Amazon cover you 're looking at.

WW II is only 12 years in the past, and somewhere in the same country you live in, Ginsberg's Howl is going through an obscenity trial.

If this is your background, which it is, The Big Time should be considered a hell of a novel. OK, Asimov's End of Eternity with a similar (but not that similar) concept came out 2 years earlier. And yes, it does read like a play. So what? Fritz Leiber gives us, in less than 150 pages, a fine cocktail of claustrophobia, ethics, philosophy, mystery and weird characters that has stood the test of time extremely well. In fact, one wonders how a "Big Change" (term in the novel for changes in history after time travel operations) that would liberate Leiber from the 1957's world and make him write, say, 50 years later, would benefit this little book. As it is, 4 stars and a special place in the pantheon of time travel novels.
It started off with a cool enough of an idea, but then when the heavy thinking gets dropped on you it feels like you dropped a good egg on a very dirty floor - you want to salvage it in your mind but you just can't and regretably end up scraping it into the garbage feeling bad the whole time...
This is a fast read very interesting. I hope its not true it held my attention. Read with a open mind.
This was recommended I think by John C Wright, but I must say that it did not really grab me. But what do I know? Give it a shot.
A war is underway to determine the fate of the universe. Both sides use time travel to change the course of historical events to suit their own ends. These opposing powers, known only as the Spiders and Snakes, exist outside of our known time-space continuum, and thus are able to move freely throughout space and time as we know it. They recruit soldiers and agents by plucking people out of their mortal existences in regular time and offering them a sort of conditional immortality as spatial-temporal nomads if they fight in this universal conflict known as the Change War. Outside of our universe exists an isolated pocket of space-time that serves as a recuperation station (kind of like a USO center) for the Spider soldiers. A motley crew of characters end up together at this facility, including a Nazi commandant, a Roman legionnaire, a Civil War soldier, an ancient Greek amazon, a prehistoric moon creature, and a Venusian satyr. Though they’ve all come to this way station for rest and relaxation, they soon find themselves faced with a predicament possibly even more perilous than the war that rages outside.

Fritz Leiber’s novel The Big Time was originally published in the March and April 1958 issues of Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine. It won the Hugo Award that year for best novel. I have an interest in time travel literature, particularly from the pulp fiction era. Given the acclaim this book has received, I approached it with optimistic enthusiasm but was sorely disappointed. The Big Time hasn’t aged well, and it serves as an example of what’s wrong with a lot of old-school sci-fi.

The novel is narrated by Greta Forzane, an “entertainer” at the station, whose duties seem similar to those of a dance-hall girl in an old Western saloon. She tells the story with a slang-peppered rapid-fire delivery that recalls the style of vintage hard-boiled detective novels. Each of the various visitors to the station speaks with the peculiar accent of his original time and place, though all are up on the latest hipster slang. No matter where or when they’re from, however, each eventually breaks into a stream-of-consciousness soliloquy that reads as if it were lifted from a Virginia Woolf novel. All this unnecessary verbosity soon becomes quite annoying and tedious. It seems like Leiber may have been going for an effect similar to beat poetry, but it ends up sounding like a schizophrenic Robin Williams comedy routine. In addition, though the scientific concepts he envisions in this novel are quite interesting, Leiber doesn’t do himself any favors with the terms he uses to describe them. Spiders and Snakes? Really? That’s the best you could come up with? The players in the war are divided into different categories with inappropriate supernatural names—demons, zombies, ghosts—none of which are ever satisfactorily explained. Change War, Change Winds, Change World—it all sounds rather kitschy and infantile.

At about the halfway point, the novel turns into a mystery story, and not a very good one. The resolution of the puzzle hinges on a pseudo-scientific concept that was previously concealed from the reader, so it feels like a cheat. The whole novel is kind of like that. Leiber just makes up new rules as he goes along. Every time you think you know how things work in this fictional universe, he introduces some new device or Change phenomenon that alters the possibilities. That’s not creative; that’s just annoying, and kind of lazy. The idea of the Change War, fought by forces from beyond time and space, is a good one, but Leiber himself doesn’t take his own brainchild seriously enough, and the result is one messy, silly, and frustrating book.
Though I try to write a short review at least of every book I read, I almost did not write one for this book, as I have nothing much to say. I read this over fifty years ago when it was still new, and though I liked novels by Fritz Leiber, I did not care for this one. Since it was available for free, I decided to try it again to see if greater maturity changed my perspective. I still did not care for it. I see that it won the Hugo Award, so my opinion is in the minority. I always wonder what it is that I’m missing when I see little quality in something that wins awards. It is one of those stories set in a surreal setting so the reader does not know what is going on, and must continue reading to piece it together. Sometimes, that works just fine. But the whole premise of this story just left me annoyed as it was too far-fetched to take seriously. Also, I could not really empathize with the characters. I originally read this all the way through, but this time decided I have better things to read.
Many years ago I read this and many other Leiber stories. His work is up there with Bradbury, Asimov, Campbell, Pohl and all the great science fiction writers.