Time Pressure by Spider Robinson
Today turned out to be a Snow Day from school and the first true snowstorm of the season. After bracing the early parts of the storm to make sure that my youngest could indeed get her braces off at last, we spent the rest of the day cocooned in our house as white flakes whirled around us. Though I’d started Time Pressure last night, I resisted the urge to gulp it down before noon and instead saved the last of the book for this evening. I’d forgotten just how much I love Spider Robinson’s sense of humour and puns!
Time Pressure is set in Nova Scotia in 1973 and follows the path of a hermit-like draft dodger from the United States. Sam has picked a spot in the Annapolis Valley amid hippie communes and Locals (I’ve been here in the Maritimes for over 25 years and I am still “From Away”) in which to hide from his past. Though he has neighbours and friends, he manages to keep his emotional armour fairly intact until the night a Time Traveler appears naked in the middle of an April snowstorm. Yes, it really can snow here in April!
Time Pressure is the kind of book that can keep a reader on the edge of their seat, second-guessing what plot twists and turns the story will take. It had been over a dozen years since I last read this story (with many, MANY books read during that time) so I’d forgotten all of the key elements to the ending that made it as startling as when I first read it.
Fairly uninhibited and graphic sexual content may keep some readers from exploring this story, but it remains as thought-provoking, groundbreaking and yet incredibly humorous a look at our human evolution and future possibilities as it was when first published.
Paperback format, 243 pages, 1987 by Ace Books