Pastwatch: the Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card

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Book Information  
AuthorOrson Scott Card
TitlePastwatch: the Redemption of Christopher Columbus
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by 
(May 11, 2005)

This book takes a indepth look into the life of Christopher Columbus. Though this is achieved not as a history book, but as futuristic time travel adventure. In the book Earth has been devastated by many years of war. The survivors, now at peace, are slowly rebuilding the planet. They have developed a way using a machine called the tempoview, later the truesite II, to be able to glimpse into the past. They use these machines to discover at first weather patterns, then key points in history. Most notably the story of Atlantis, and Noah's Ark. When looking at a tribe in Haiti, right before the Spanish would destroy the village, it is discovered that some individuals in the past could see them. The question is raised if they could see us, then perhaps we could send something into the past, and change it for the better. Problem is where to go. Throughout history one of the greatest tragedies was the near extinction of the native people of South America by the Spanish. So the people at Pastwatch decided to pick Christopher Columbus. The book uniquley goest back and forth from future efforts to times in Christopher Columbus's life. Orson Scott Card skillfully gives life to Christopher Columbus showing why he was so motivated, why he chose to sail west, and most importantly what would have happened if he didn't. This is by far one of the best alternate history books I have ever read, most due to its chilling realism, especially to the actual historical facts. I greatly recommend this or any of Mr. Card's novels.

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