…SF addict …

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Veils of Azlaroc by Fred Saberhagen (1976)

This is a strange one!
 Basically it is about a strange artificial world that appears desert like, but with a low sky and strange geometric forms on the landscape. But the strangest thing about the place are the veils. Each year a temporal veil falls about the planet, sealing everyone inside it on the planet permanently,  to live forever, unchanged. Every year tourists visit the world to view its odd charms, but they must be certain to leave before Veilfall or they will be trapped there.
One man is determined to escape the planet, through the heart of a neutron star. Another is sent on a mission to retrieve an object from a sealed tomb, while another man comes to Azlaroc to search for a lost love who was trapped there many veils ago. And amidst all this is a man who knows that this year the veil will fall early, and he sets about to warn everyone,  and in order to do that he needs to find a way to send the message through the veils past, to send a message across a barrier of time.

I've had this book a long time; I came across it at a second hand book stall in Wales in the 90's and have read it twice already.
Saberhagen is known for his Berserker series of books but I have yet to come across one and know little about them, and I believe they are more like fantasy.
Veils is most definitely SF and a bit odd, but a good read nonetheless.




1 comment:

searchpartyns said...

I read this story many years ago and found it interesting. As years pass the subject becomes more clear. I had 4 kids who found their own way and I appear to be separated from them by something similar to the veils. Lately as I retired I appear to separated from the world by more distance in time, and more distance from my family, I become more irrelevant to the passing world and am more focused on my presence I can relate to the characters in the story; I can see them walking around, see their plights but cannot reach them through direct voice contact, just like the older veiled people. The character who wished to warn the travellers that the veils would come early and tried to pass the message from time to time to get from his time veil through to the present visitors who will be trapped by not knowing the veils will be early is frustrated because later time veil residence don't realize the problem and won't pass it on. I feel the same when I try to pass on basic wisdom to much younger people beguiled by their phones and baseless music who can see only their own time and not very much of it or where it came from.