An Alien Heat (The Dancers at the End of Time, #1)
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An Alien Heat

by Michael Moorcock
Release date: 1972
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction

Earth of the remote future, on the brink of the end of time. Society and technology have advanced to the point where death no longer exists, birth hardly at all; the small remaining population is very rich, very decadent, very sophisticated, very bizarre.

The world draws its enormous power from its crazy, jewelled cities with their ripe and rotting technologies. Nature is landscaped into a thousand fantasy gardens, in artful parodies of what was once natural scenery. Snow falls in the tropics, skies are tinted by artists according to their moods. Space-travelers – even time-travelers – occasionally call.

 

Sex is a dying interest. Jherek Carnelian, something of an oddity in this society, decides to sport an unusual affectation: he will “fall in love.” When Mrs. Amelia Underwood arrives, a reluctant time-traveler from Victorian London, he determines to possess her, finds himself truly in love, and plunges backward in time to capture her.

 

An Alien Heat is not only a delightful comic fantasy, but also a sharp social satire, reminiscent simultaneously of Anthony Burgess, Oscar Wilde, and H. G. Wells.

(updated 2010-09-07)

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