Cover image for Oracle
Watson, Ian, 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Vista, 1998.

Physical Description:
287 pages ; 18 cm
General Note:
Originally published: London : Gollancz, 1997.
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Author Notes

British science fiction author Ian Watson was born in 1943. He received a first class Honors degree in English Literature in 1963 and a research degree in English and French 19th Century literature in 1965 from Balliol College, Oxford. After lecturing in literature and Futures Studies, he became a full-time author in 1976. His first novel, The Embedding, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the French Prix Apollo. His novel The Jonah Kit won the British Science Fiction Association Award and the Orbit Award. He worked with Stanley Kubrick on story development for the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence from 1990 to 1991. His poem True Love won the 2002 Rhysling Award from the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Tom Ryan, a classic Everyman pitched into an alligator swamp by surprise, begins his adventures by discovering a time-traveling Roman centurion marching along on a rainy night in modern Britain. The plot thickens when, after giving shelter to the Roman refugee, Tom and his sister, Mary, discover that the time-traveling is the result of a secret project called Oracle. The intent of the government security people involved in Oracle is to review the past and the future to prevent "threats to national security." Tom and Mary learn that one thing Oracle has already done caused the plane crash that killed their parents 20 years ago. This discovery gets Tom and Mary embroiled with the IRA, which Watson portrays as having an undeniably left-of-center bias, as does the narration of much of the rest of the book. This is a rather cerebral thriller, since Watson is a master of language and characterization rather than pacing. Yet even those who find Watson's politics paranoiac should recognize the intelligence of his storytelling. --Roland Green