The Eurasian world of the 24th Century is in the grip of Rajak the Magnificent, one of the most efficiently ruthless totalitarian tyrants ever produced by history. The dreaded security guards are everywhere. The only escape is the time dimension. But what if the Time Vortex breaks down? To what unknown realms - of past, future or probability - will the travellers be transported?
Mike Grafton, on the run from the security forces, finds himself changing places with Benjamin Bathurst, the true life Missing Diplomat of the early 19th Century, who vanished and was never seen again.
What happens to these men, torn from their environments, into unknown realms? Will the Liberationist forces succeed in destroying Rajak the Magnificent? But perhaps the greatest question of all is the possibility of Time Travel: will man ultimately conquer time as he is even know conquering space?
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Golden Age Science Fiction, Poor Editing
Like a lot of Golden Age Science Fiction, this is an idea-driven plot driven by two-dimensional characters. It is a bit of a slog to get through, especially the ten page lecture on Euclidean geometry complete with equations that is delivered by a character during an escape from evil forces intent on killing them. Historically, it helps show how far the field has come.
That said, the copy-editing is horrible, especially in the later section — it is as if the proof-reader gave up midway through correcting the OCR errors (although given that lecture in the middle, it wouldn’t be surprising).