Joe Haldeman - Buying Time - Unb
Read by: Fred Major
Runtime: 9 Hours and 30 Minutes
This was also released as The Long Habit of Living, in the USA, this is the
U.K. release name.
One of the foremost practitioners of ''hard'' science fiction, Haldeman offers a mystery/SF hybrid that exhibits the author at his most inventive and also, at times, his least involving. Late in the 21st century, the rich have the option of rejuvenating their bodies once every decade, as long as they can come up with the price--everything they own, minimum 1 million. This has made the Stileman Foundation, which provides the medical makeover, the richest and most powerful corporation in the world, and has also created an elite expert in making and sheltering fortunes. One of these ''immortals,'' Dallas Barr, has been invited to join a super-elite group calling itself the ''Steering Committee,'' but finds instead that he has been set up for murder. Fleeing with his lover, Maria Marconi, an immortal who has decided to forgo further rejuvenation and therefore will die in a few years, Dallas sets himself on the trail of his would-be assassins, and of the secret someone wishes to keep him from discovering. Haldeman keeps the technological wonders coming, and the action is fast and furious, but not balanced by characterization of any depth or any emotional resonance. It's worth reading, however, for the original world Haldeman has envisioned.
In the 21st century, immortality via the complex operation known as the Stileman Process is attainable by a few wealthy and determined individuals, but the motivations that drive humans to live forever remain shrouded in mystery until ''immortals'' Dallas Barr and Maria Marconi stumble across a dangerous secret and find themselves fleeing for their lives--which have suddenly become very short. Fast-paced action and hardcore sf are hallmarks of this latest novel by the author of The Forever War . For sf collections.-- JC