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The Six Fingers of Time   By: (1914-2002)

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The Six Fingers of Time by R. A. Lafferty is a mind-bending and intricately crafted science fiction novel that defies traditional storytelling conventions. Set in a far-fetched future, this book takes readers on an unforgettable journey through time and space, blending elements of mystery, humor, and profound philosophy.

Lafferty's writing style is exceptionally unique and vividly imaginative. His prose is rich with poetic descriptions and filled with a witty charm that grabs readers' attention from the very first page. While the narrative can feel convoluted at times, Lafferty masterfully weaves together multiple storylines, gradually connecting the dots to reveal a broader picture that is both bewildering and captivating.

The characters in The Six Fingers of Time are an eclectic mix, each with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. From the enigmatic time-traveling musician to the eccentric collector of lost artifacts, Lafferty excels at creating memorable and larger-than-life personalities that add depth and unpredictability to the narrative. Their interactions are often lighthearted and humorous, providing occasional comic relief amidst the mind-bending nature of the plot.

What truly sets this novel apart is Lafferty's exploration of complex themes. Time, reality, and the nature of existence are all dissected through his intricate storytelling. The concept of time itself becomes a character, manipulated and controlled in ways that challenge readers' understanding of cause and effect. Philosophical musings are scattered throughout the book, inviting readers to ponder existential questions that go far beyond the confines of the story.

Despite its brilliance, The Six Fingers of Time may not be a book for everyone. Its non-linear plot structure and philosophical digressions can be disorienting at times, requiring readers to invest careful attention and thought into untangling the narrative threads. This novel demands active engagement from its audience, rewarding those who are willing to embark on a literary journey that defies convention.

In conclusion, The Six Fingers of Time is a remarkable piece of speculative fiction that pushes the boundaries of storytelling. R. A. Lafferty's mastery of language, intricate plotting, and philosophical depth combine to create a mind-bending experience unlike any other. This book is a must-read for lovers of science fiction who are seeking a thought-provoking adventure that will challenge their perceptions of time, reality, and the nature of existence.

First Page:

Transcriber's Note

This etext was produced from the September 1960 issue of If. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U. S. copyright on this publication was renewed. Obvious printer's and punctuation errors have been fixed. Original page numbers have been retained.




Time is money. Time heals all wounds. Given time, anything is possible. And now he had all the time in the world!


Illustrated by GAUGHAN

He began by breaking things that morning. He broke the glass of water on his night stand. He knocked it crazily against the opposite wall and shattered it. Yet it shattered slowly. This would have surprised him if he had been fully awake, for he had only reached out sleepily for it.

Nor had he wakened regularly to his alarm; he had wakened to a weird, slow, low booming, yet the clock said six, time for the alarm. And the low boom, when it came again, seemed to come from the clock.

He reached out and touched it gently, but it floated off the stand at his touch and bounced around slowly on the floor... Continue reading book >>

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