TOR Double #20

The Wheels of If

by L. Sprague de Camp

The Pugnacious Peacemaker

Harry Turtledove

Review by Bill Johnston

The Wheels of If / The Pugnacious Peacemaker by L. Sprague de Camp and Harry Turtledove is the twentieth TOR double. This is the second of a different type of double in which a sequel is commissioned for an old story. The Wheels of If involves a man who finds himself in a different body, and a slightly different world each day, for a week. At the end of the week he is still not himself and eventually finds out that this was done to him by a psionic to get rid of the body's previous occupant. The rest is action/adventure as he tries to impersonate the person he is in the body of and tries to get home. Warning: the next paragraph gives away the ending to The Wheels of If.

In The Pugnacious Peacemaker our hero has decided to stay in the body he now inhabits, is made an international judge, and is sent to arbitrate a war between the Incas and Moslems of South America. He must deal with two fanatical religions who want peace but are not willing to compromise. I did not like the ending because to me it dealt with an intricacy of Islam, and not something which could be reasoned out by just any reader.

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