John Varley’s 1983 Millennium, a novelization of the 1989 film disappointment of the same name, which was inspired by a Varley short story*, has a tasty core with a problematic shell. The story itself? It’s just plain neat. The characterization? Kind of annoying.
Louise Baltimore runs a time traveling snatch team from “The Last Age” of humanity. Bill Smith investigates aircraft crashes for the U. S. government in 1983. A devastating double-plane crash occurs in California which draws both characters to the event—Bill to identify the cause, and Louise to supervise her distant-future team as they snatch the imminent victims from the doomed planes and dash them to the diseased and polluted Last Age to be preserved until arrangements can be made to transport them to another world and begin humanity anew. Continue reading