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Lest Darkness Fall (1941)

af L. Sprague de Camp

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,0122820,768 (3.7)84
Martin Padaway was a smart enough young man, with a scientific education, but no universal genius. He had the misfortune to be suddenly dropped back into time, and a very alarming time at that-sinth century Rome, when the Goths ruled Italy, and civilization in the west was collapsing. To make a living, and to try and shore up civilization, Padaway undertook to introduce inventions such as gunpowder, clocks, and printing. Some worked and some didn't, often with dramatic and hilarious results.… (mere)
  1. 40
    En yankee ved kong Arthurs hof af Mark Twain (usnmm2)
  2. 00
    Touchdown af John Grisham (DWWilkin)
    DWWilkin: A new transplant trying to make a life in Italy. Heart-warming and fun-filled.
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Engelsk (27)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (28)
Viser 1-5 af 28 (næste | vis alle)
Time-travel that means alternative history. i.e. increasing survivability of ONE person through alteration of the historical timeline of civilization. Talk about an ambitious author/character! This is a fun and interesting novel full of wit and invention. Essential reading for vintage science fiction readers. Sets a pretty high bar, so to speak, for time travel/ alt history novels. I enjoyed the book and it demonstrates the author's skill and knowledge. ( )
  Ruskoley | Aug 16, 2023 |
In 1938 an ancient historian/archaeologist is visiting Rome when he's struck by lightning and somehow sent back to 535 AD. He has absolutely no qualms about changing the future because he decides to 'invent' the printing press and a bunch of other should-be-anachronistic devices. He also decides to make sure that the Dark Ages don't happen.

I dunno. I feel like I should have adored this story, and I really super didn't. I mean, who hasn't daydreamed about going back in time and trying to decide how you would live in a past society (as a woman, though, these daydreams tend to end in a disturbingly nightmarish way for me). And yeah, it would be totally fun to act the non-modern day Prometheus (minus the monster, hopefully), but something about this version of the daydream seems off to me. Just because you know the printing press exists doesn't mean you could make one yourself (or am I just helplessly ignorant of such things? Does everyone know how to create something like that from essentially nothing?), and the main character has no problem doing just that and also creating so many other things without the benefit of Ikea-like instructions. (I mean, a telescope? Come on. I get the general concept, but actually *making* one?!) And he gets arrested a time or two, but has no real problem wriggling out of trouble, it seems. How was he not condemned for witchcraft?! (A TELESCOPE, FFS. AND CANONS.) It was also not...interesting? That period of Roman history has never been my favorite, but it's certainly not dull. But it seemed so here. Anyway, a big miss for me, sorry to say. ( )
  electrascaife | Mar 24, 2023 |
I recall reading this as an adolescent and loving it. Left a deep impression. I picked it up again as an adult looking for3ard to revisiting an old, great book, and was disappointed. That's OK, though. It was great when it mattered, and I've always loved the idea of time travel largely as a result of this book, which captures aspects of it - on a very surface level - that were entertaining in their fashion.. ( )
  jsmick | Nov 8, 2022 |
The protagonist gets transported in time back to 6th century ad of rome. Because it's about to fall into the Middle ages, also known as the dark ages, the author named it "lest darkness falls". The protagonist, once he realizes he is stuck in 536 ad Rome, sets out to change the course of events. Little by little he is drawn into the political scene, and gets involved in wars. The rest of the book is one war after another. This is where the author lost my interest.
Also, I would have ended this differently, if this were my book. Easy to say right? However, I would have liked to see treated how, perhaps the protagonist got struck by another lightning bolt (which is what happened when he was transported back in time), so that now he travels back to his own time, and sees the changes in current events that have occurred because he changed all this stuff back in the 6th Century ad. For example: he introduced Brandy, the double entry accounting system, the printing press, just to name a few. Since they were invented so far back ahead of time than they should have been, what happens now in the protagonist's current time? ( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
One of my favourite time travel novels. I loved that the hero Martin stopped the fall of the Roman Empire through his knowledge and ingenuity. ( )
  LizTuckwell | Aug 23, 2022 |
Viser 1-5 af 28 (næste | vis alle)
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Tancredi took his hands off the wheel again and waved them. "--so I envy you, Dr. Padway. Here in Rome we have still some work to do. But pah! It is all filling in the little gaps. Nothing big, nothing new. And restoration work. Building contractor's work. Again, pah!"
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A shorter version was first published as a short story in Unknown #10, December 1939. Please do not combine!

A later version published by Phoenix Pick/Arc Manor includes several short stories by other authors: 'Lest Darkness Fall and Related Stories'. Do not combine!
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Martin Padaway was a smart enough young man, with a scientific education, but no universal genius. He had the misfortune to be suddenly dropped back into time, and a very alarming time at that-sinth century Rome, when the Goths ruled Italy, and civilization in the west was collapsing. To make a living, and to try and shore up civilization, Padaway undertook to introduce inventions such as gunpowder, clocks, and printing. Some worked and some didn't, often with dramatic and hilarious results.

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