Hey there, people.
I’m still catching up on book reviews, though I’m excited to roll out 3 more this week. Today, I wanted to share a few thoughts on The Big Time by Fritz Leiber. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1958, so it’s an older one – like most of the Hugos that I’ve read recently. (Though that’s about to change in the next couple of months, thanks to Summer Reading 2017. That’s all I’m going to say about that for now, but I’m excited to share my Summer Reading plans with you soon!)
Anyway, The Big Time was a bit of a surprise for me. It was a shorter work, and it took me a little while to get into it, but it vastly improved after the first few chapters.
Essentially, the story is a “bottle episode” – it all takes place in one location with not a lot of time (if any) occurring between scenes. The phrase is more so used to describe a TV episode. But whatever. It gets my point across.
So The Big Time is a bottle episode of sorts, which I didn’t know going in, and I didn’t like at first. But the premise kind of requires it – a group of people are stuck in a sealed location with an armed bomb and have to figure out how to disarm it/who in the group sealed them in with the bomb. The story is short enough that this ended up really working for me, especially because there was a great smattering (is that a word?) of humor, historical commentary (thanks to everyone being from different times throughout history), and study of human nature. At times if felt like a weird pulp fiction version of The Great Gatsby – but in the best way?
Check out The Big Time if you’re looking for short, classic science fiction!