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September 11th, 2007, 09:31 PM
I read a science fiction book a few years ago and have since forgotten the name of the book and the author. I was hoping the community could help me in remembering it. I actually remember a lot about the book, and will try to be as descriptive as possible. (And yes, I have tried numerous search strings both here and on Google, etc. with no avail)

So, here goes:

Book begins with a group of 4 people traveling back in time around 12,000 +/- years. The author's take on time travel in the book entails people only being able to go back so far, and never further. So the group ventures back in an actual machine (I believe it was silver) to a lush jungle where man is just getting started. He can make fire, hunt, lives in small nomadic tribes. At first, the group tries to simply do their research with minimal contact with early man, but it eventually happens. They help a couple sick tribe members, studying them as well. Meanwhile, one of the team members, an old englishman starts to get a hang of the local language. He is always viewed as rather strange by the others in the team. So gradually, the team decides to use this opportunity to study the tribe more. They hunt with them, eat with them, and eventually help them with a rival tribe.

Blah, blah, blah, lets cut to the chase and give concise details.
Spoilers I guess :eek:

The old englishman actually is immortal. He finds a plant while on the expedition that acts like a fountain of youth. Determined to keep it to himself, he stays behind after the group leaves, intent on living forever, which he does, until 12,000 years later when the cycle begins again with "the group" leaving to travel back in time. He orchestrates a way for himself to travel back again with the team so he can continue his immortality over and over.

Any takers? I remember more and more as I type this out, so feel free to ask for more details. I believe the author was male, and the book was under 300 pages (not to thick as my hands remember). The englishman in the book has been around for so long that his DNA was responsible for a high amount of humanity on the planet ... lots of paradoxes and such, but a great read.

Hopefully someone knows the title so I can read it again someday

September 11th, 2007, 09:40 PM
Don't know but it sounds like some sloppy writing. If he's immortal why bother to go back in time again, you already did it once, just keep on living.

September 11th, 2007, 09:53 PM
He needed to go back due to the limited availability of the plant. He used it up and had little or none left, so the only way to stay immortal was to to keep getting back into the expedition to travel back in time to get the plant again.

September 12th, 2007, 12:26 AM
Now that does cause a paradox. He would have to keep going back with his former self because if he didn't go back that last time then he would have never gotten to that point in the first place.

September 12th, 2007, 12:31 AM
I actually think that he kills the "present" self in order to continue the cycle. Could be wrong ... yes it's a paradox, but then again, I could simply be explaining it wrong.

Colonel Worf
September 12th, 2007, 08:40 PM
This sounds very interesting. I wish I knew what it was now.

September 19th, 2007, 08:37 PM
Sounds like "Times Last Gift" by Phillip Jose Farmer

September 19th, 2007, 09:05 PM
Thank you for helping me find out the book/author.

September 20th, 2007, 05:55 PM
You're welcome, I hope that was it. I read it years ago and really liked it.