Posted on September 24, 2004 by Flames
Written by: Brian Aldiss
This book had much in the way of promise for a good science fiction romp through the horror of Dracula. Unfortunately, it’s promise falls onto it’s face about halfway through.
We meet Joe Bodenland, who is a un-renowned scientist, working on a type of time machine that will suspend an item indefinitely at one moment in time. His goal, to use this for storing Nuclear Waste. His wife, Mina, isn’t as enthusiastic about it as he seems to be, in fact, we find that Joe is so absorbed in his project he even misses his son’s wedding.
We soon shift to an archaeologist, who digs up two coffins, marked with the symbol for Vampire, and it is dated back to 65.5 million years ago. He soon calls up Joe, and Joe rushes to the site, along with his wife, son, and new daughter-in-law. At the site they proceed to witness the passing of a phantom train, which is able to be video taped darning one of it’s apparent weekly passes. Joe, being the lunatic that you find out he is, decides to use his time stopping machine and get on board this train, along with the archaeologist.
At the point of boarding the train, the author adapts the writing style of separating the story chapter by chapter, which unto itself is fine, until he gets too excited by what is happening with Joe and Co, whereas he completely leaves out anybody else for several chapters. Joe, in the meantime, boards this train, which is in fact, a Time Traveling Train, and he gets off in 1896, whereas we find and meet Bram Stoker, who is inflicted with Syphilis, because of his liking for prostitutes who are working during “their time of the month”.
The two proceed to track down the start of this Time Train and travel all over the world and time and encounter various forms of vampires. The cumulating of this book ends in the entire explanation of how Vampires exist, as well as how the dinosaurs died. Apparently, vampires have descended from parasites back in the primordial ooze, and were doing their thing for ages, originally herding the dinosaurs into feeding corrals, and eating from them there. Joe and Stoker having gone back in time with a large F-Bomb that has more power than all the US’s nuclear forces combined, they set it off in the Hudson Bay area, thusly nuking the dinosaurs and vampires. Of course, some have lived, and the accounting for the sunlight hurting them is because some were looking up when the bomb went off, and it’s a trait passed down generation to generation.
The only mention we might have seen of any Dracula in this book is when Mina is attacked, and killed by a vampiric man, dressed well, and powerful. As to that, that is the last we hear any mention of him during the rest of the book.
This book sadly did not meet my expectations, but I will admit morbid curiosity kept me reading it until I finished it, despite the fact that it tried it’s hardest to bore me to sleep every time I turned a new page, the only downside being the complete lack of any climax to the ending of the book.
Oh yeah, Joe takes Stoker to this age temporarily to get some penicillin for his syphilis, so he can write his book.
Reviewer: Matt Mulholland