Name that Sci-fi Novel: Time Travelling Russians + Advanced Human Intelligences
August 25, 2011 9:46 AM   Subscribe

Trying to remember the name of a sci-fi novel that involved time travelers. I *seem* to remember there was an organization dedicated to keeping the space-time continuum in order, and that organization consulted with human intelligences along the timeline, including vastly advanced human intelligences that basically weren't human anymore.

Extra tidbits:
* The antagonist was perhaps Russian, perhaps a woman, and perhaps showed up at one point in a butt-kickingly wicked helicopter
* The antagonist (or some villain?) died. The reader expected them to suffer eternal damnation because of something heinous they did while alive (involved in genocide perhaps?), but instead their soul floated outward the earth's hemisphere, where it joined a peaceful communion with other recently departed souls, before fully dissolving away into a peaceful nothingness.

Read it when I was young, I remember it taking a lot of unexpected twists. Can't remember the name, get too many wrong results on Google.
posted by audiodidactic to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
The series of Time Patrol stories and novels by Poul Anderson is the progenitor of the genre. It matches everything you have above the cut, including the superhuman far-future civilization. It's 1950s-style sci-fi, so it's fast-paced with lots of twists. I don't recall anything in the series matching your extra details below the cut, though.
posted by Nomyte at 10:03 AM on August 25, 2011


A novel in H. Beam Piper's Paratime series?
posted by GuyZero at 10:05 AM on August 25, 2011


Pretty sure that Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity is not what you're after, despite the fact htat I really wanted it to be, reading only above the cut. There are some Russian names, and maybe a helicopter thing or maybe I'm confused, but hero is not female and there's no afterlife stuff. But it's wicked twisty, and a great read.
posted by aimedwander at 10:30 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I second Time Patrol. Even if it is not the exact match it's worth a try because it's fantastic.
posted by zzazazz at 11:31 AM on August 25, 2011


Chris Anvil? Though he mostly does short stories
posted by Jacen at 11:40 AM on August 25, 2011


Okay, maybe a long shot, but could it be Downtiming the Night Side?
posted by mumblingmynah at 1:30 PM on August 25, 2011


Read it when I was young

Relevant question: when were you young?
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:41 PM on August 25, 2011


Ha, good point! I guess I would have read it in the 90's.
posted by audiodidactic at 2:36 PM on August 25, 2011


The Great Work of Time by John Crowley?
posted by Malla at 8:01 PM on August 25, 2011


I don't think there were any explicit references to souls or the afterlife, but the other clues remind me of Eon by Greg Bear. The main character is a woman, and from what I remember there are Russians, a timeline with future humans, something like a spacetime protection agency, and a cool, specialised vehicle (though not a helicopter).
posted by lucidium at 9:08 AM on August 26, 2011


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