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Instant of Decision   By: (1927-1987)

Instant of Decision by Randall Garrett

In Instant of Decision, Randall Garrett seamlessly weaves together elements of science fiction, mystery, and intrigue, resulting in a captivating and thought-provoking read. Set in a society where time travel has become a reality, the story follows protagonist David Lester, a brilliant scientist, as he navigates a complex web of alliances, betrayal, and his own moral dilemmas.

From the very beginning, Garrett skillfully immerses the reader in his intricately crafted world. The concept of time travel is explored in great detail, highlighting both its immense potential and the ethical implications it raises. The author's attention to detail when explaining the mechanics and rules of time travel is impressive, making the narrative feel not only plausible but also intellectually stimulating.

Lester's character arc is one of the book's main strengths. As he grapples with the power he holds in his hands, the choices he must make become increasingly difficult. Garrett successfully presents a morally ambiguous protagonist, forcing the readers to question their own notions of right and wrong. As the plot unfolds, the suspense escalates, and the consequences of each decision become higher and more far-reaching.

The pacing of Instant of Decision is expertly managed, with each chapter leaving readers eager to uncover the next twist or revelation. Garrett masterfully builds suspense through unexpected turns and well-crafted plot twists. The narrative is filled with unexpected alliances, betrayals, and double-crosses, creating a constant sense of mistrust that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

Furthermore, the depth of the world-building in this novel is commendable. Garrett seamlessly incorporates scientific, political, and societal elements into the story, creating a fully realized universe that feels both authentic and captivating. The intricacies of this world are presented in a way that never overwhelms the reader, but rather enhances their understanding and engagement.

While the book primarily focuses on the science fiction and mystery aspects, the author also peppers the narrative with elements of romance and interpersonal dynamics. These subplots breathe further life into the story, adding depth to the characters and allowing readers to form emotional connections with them.

If there is any criticism to be found, it is in the occasional moments where the complexity of the plot may require readers to give extra attention to fully grasp the story's intricacies. However, this only serves to enhance the overall experience, challenging readers to keep up and rewarding them with a truly satisfying conclusion.

In conclusion, Instant of Decision is a remarkable novel that combines compelling science fiction concepts, tantalizing mystery, and fascinating characters. Randall Garrett's masterful storytelling and attention to detail ensure that the pages turn effortlessly, leaving readers craving more at every step. It is a truly captivating work that will linger in the minds of readers long after the final page is turned.

First Page:

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Space Science Fiction May 1953. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.




How could a man tell the difference if all the reality of Earth turned out to be a cosmic hoax? Suppose it turned out that this was just a stage set for students of history?

When the sharp snap of a pistol shot came from the half finished building, Karnes wasn't anywhere near the sandpile that received the slug. He was fifteen feet away, behind the much more reliable protection of a neat stack of cement bags that provided cover all the way to a window in the empty shell of brick and steel before him.

Three hundred yards behind him, the still burning inferno of what had been the Assembly Section of Carlson Spacecraft sent a reddish, unevenly pulsating light over the surrounding territory, punctuating the redness with intermittent flashes of blue white from flaring magnesium.

For an instant, Karnes let himself hope that the shot might be heard at the scene of the blaze, but only for an instant... Continue reading book >>

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