Tuesday, July 24, 2007
#62 -- Mammoth by John Varley
From the Publisher
An intact wooly mammoth is discovered frozen in Canada. Huddled next to the huge creature is the mummified body of a Stone Age man around 12,000 years old. And he is wearing a wristwatch.
I love a good time travel book and this one has all the ingredients for one. It does get a little bogged down and side tracked about mid way through the book, but overall it is a good read.
Howard Christian is a very rich man who buys whatever he wants, and at the moment he wants to breed a Woolly Mammoth, so he hires a team to find and excavate a frozen Mammoth, so that he can have the DNA extracted to create a elephant/mammoth hybrid. When the crew discovers a caveman's body frozen next to the carcass wearing a very modern wristwatch, Howard's obsession takes a turn. A metal briefcase lying next to the caveman has to be a time machine, so Howard goes about hiring the best of the best to figure out how to make it work, which is Matt Wright, the smartest mathematician around.
In the meantime, Howard continues his quest to breed the Mammoth by hiring Susan Morgan, an elephant trainer, to help care for the elephant that has been artificially inseminated with the elephant/mammoth embryo.
Working next door to each other in a warehouse on their separate projects, Susan and Matt meet and fall in love. When an accident sends the two of them back in time, to the Ice Age, and then home again, with half a dozen living, breathing Mammoths accidentally transported forward in time, their lives change forever.
Who was the caveman found next to the Woolly Mammoth and how does it relate to Matt & Susan's jaunt back in time?
This really is a good story, with a fantastic, ending that brings the whole thing together and makes you wonder? Is time travel possible?