by Dave Stone

Publisher: Virgin
ISBN: 0 426 20522 7


    Space-time is collapsing, a vortex of alternatives overlapping. In order to fix it, a team is assembled: Bernice is reunited with Jason, with Chris and, plucked from another reality, someone who really should be dead...

    Bernice Summerfield.

    Jason Kane, Chris Cwej and Roz Forrester.

    The characters are pretty much all from Sky Pirates!

    Pg 7 "Fortunately, the Overcities of Earth were rich." This is where we first met Chris and Roz, way back in Original Sin.

    Pg 8 "Adjudicator Martle was already strapped into his crash webbing." Fenn Martle was Roz' original partner, as we learned in Original Sin.

    Pg 11 It can't be a coincidence that the first section of the book is called "The Oncoming Storm". For those of you who reached this page entirely by accident, that's the Doctor's nom-de-guerre, and has been for what feels like forever now.

    Pg 31 "Sgloomi Po was a Sloathe, one of a number of people whe had met in an extremely strange pocket of extra dimensions called the System, and one of those who had escaped by way of a quasi-sentient ship known as the Schirron Dream." Sky Pirates!

    Pg 32 "In practical terms this had meant that the visible universe of the System had seemed to operate on clockwork." Sky Pirates! In his foreword, Stone states that Oblivion is final part of the Clockwork trilogy, of which Sky Pirates! was the first and Death and Diplomacy the second.

    Pg 35 A variety of alien races from Sky Pirates! are briefly glimpsed.

    Pg 39 Reference to Al Capone, from Blood Harvest.

    Pg 43 The last time she had met him he had been enjoying an energetic, not to mention strenuous, relationship with a girl named Sara." Mean Streets.

    "I got into the, uh, habit when I found myself in sixteenth century Japan. It was just after Roz had died." The Room With No Doors, So Vile a Sin.

    Pg 46 "Do you remember how the Schirron Dream turned up for your wedding?" Happy Endings.

    Pg 47 "'But what's Jason going to do - try to shag it and nick its wallet?' She suddenly remembered something else and all but spat, 'And him a married man, too.'" Jason was all set to be married at the end of Deadfall.

    Pg 72 "And this was slightly odd, she thought, given that Fnaroks were, aesthetically at least, a relatively pleasant sight." Fnaroks have appeared in many Dave Stone books, including Burning Heart and Ship of Fools.

    Pg 73 "Where did you come from? One of the colonies that were annexed in the War?" The Dalek War, one assumes, that was the fall-out from Frontier in Space.

    Pg 93 "Constructed from the shards of an Olabrian joy-luck crystal." These were mentioned in Ship of Fools.

    Pgs 97-98 "Sgloomi had been fortunate in that the first friend he located had been Chris Cwej, who, it seemed, was involved with such matters on a galactic level." This is a reference to Deadfall, which still hasn't been fully explained, but has to do with Chris being left behind on Gallifrey in Lungbarrow. It also prefigures his part in Dead Romance.

    Pg 98 "Over weeks of proximity, on the ice fields of Reklon in the System, Sgloomi Po had learnt what it meant to be self-aware, to be an individual." Sky Pirates! again.

    Pg 113 The long italicized bit about reed-flutes is a direct quote from Sky Pirates! Obviously Stone particularly liked that bit.

    Pg 124 "A few years before, Benny had smoked a variety of tobacco stick." No Future.

    Pg 127 "Hi, Roz, you won't know me until ten years up your timeline, most of which will be spent with this creep called Martle, who used your inexperience as a kind of convenient cover for the fact that he was on the take with anyone who would pay." Original Sin.

    Pg 128 "Chris Cwej, late of the Adjudicators of Earth, ex-pawn on the intertemporal board and now a troubleshooter for Space and Time." Original Sin, all the time he spent with the Doctor and now what's happening to him in the Benny NAs. Pretty much sums it up.

    Pg 142 Reference to the death of Benny's mother, which we heard about in Love and War and saw, in flashback, in Parasite.

    Pgs 154-155 "Several thousand variations upon the theme of Nazis emerging victorious from the Patriotic War, all of them, without exception, unutterably banal." A vicious (and utterly unfair) swipe at Timewyrm: Exodus, or a vicious (yet rather more fair) swipe at a number of Classic Star Trek episodes.

    Pg 155 "'I've been thinking of how we split up,' she said, at last, to Jason." Eternity Weeps.

    Pg 181 "The Nexus of All Possible Events." The final section of the book is a massive Virtual Reality enterprise, which flashes us back to so many NAs of yore.

    Pg 185 A lot of flashbacks to Jason's childhood, which we heard about in Death and Diplomacy.

    Pg 188 And now some flashbacks to Benny's early life with the military, which we heard about in Love and War.

    Pg 193 "Or, at least, trying to whistle through pointed teeth implanted to set off his currently fashionable ursine appearance." It's a kind of flashback to the time of Original Sin, in which Chris was mostly body-beppled as a big teddy bear.

    Pg 207 "As it was, the sergeant - a grizzled veteran with an artificial hand and eye." A probably reference to Travis, from Blake's 7.

    Pgs 210-211 "The breakthrough came with the discovery of the Egg together with certain related alchemical texts, in the remains of the Grey Museum of what had once been called the Shadow Directory." The Death of Art.

    Pg 229 "[Chris] had confided, to Benny, earlier, mentioning something of his experiences in hell, that he was a little chagrined to find his soul to be so simple as to find its worst nightmare simply that od turning into a Bad Man." Ironically, this is pretty much what was going to happen; see Dead Romance.

    Pg 238 "One minute so far as I'm concerned, I'm walking down some particularly mean and nasty streets a man must go." Raymond Chandler, but quoted, appositely enough, in Mean Streets.


    Nathan li Shao, Leetha t'Zhan, Kiru and Sgloomi Po.


    Pretty much everyone in the book is from a fictional alternative universe which no longer exists by the end. Or they die.


    1. Pgs 35-36 "The way the adults fussed over them put Benny in mind of a scene she had seen, in a railway station on Earth, when children were being evacuated from something called the Blitz." The idea that Benny, specialist in twentieth-century history, has no clear idea what the Blitz was is ludicrous anyway. Given that she was there in Just War makes it just stupid.

    PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]

    1. For various complicated reasons, Benny is currently recording her thought processes and is ensuring that she doesn't make any assumptions of the knowledge of any future reader.

    Pg 15 The Malanese, from Malanoor; fungoid, and glowing, they have evolved only being able to look down, as there was nothing interesting to see above.

    Pg 30 Sgloomi Po is still one of the Sloathes.

    Pg 72 Fnaroks.

    Pg 7 Earth, the Overcities thereof.

    Pg 14 The Lost Temples of Malanoor, in the Malanoor System, unsurprisingly.

    Pg 29 A variety of alternative Earths.

    Pg 34 The Schirron Dream.

    Pg 72 The planet Zarjax.

    Pg 122 The Solar System, around the Tenth Planet, which isn't Mondas.

    Pg 154 Near the asteroid belt in the Solar System.

    Pg 181 The Nexus of All Possible Events.

    IN SUMMARY - Anthony Wilson
    There are some lovely passages of writing, particularly the ones that are in italics. As for the rest of it, it's very Dave Stone. Which is hardly surprising really. The series of alternative realities, rooted in a variety of cliches kind of work, but also kind of drag, but there is the occasional nice ideas. The Appendix is dreadful, though. Overall, though, and I don't quite know why, like most other Dave Stone books, it's kind of fun to be reading, but you're terribly glad when it's over and, six months later, you have no recollection of it at all.