Jun 29, 2015: I’m not sure if the appropriate comparison to Man of the Last Millennium is to be found in Isaac Asimov’s oeuvre, or Ray Bradbury’s. Either way, the point is clear: this serial has a real vintage feel, one that evokes mid-twentieth century science fiction.
There are a lot of reasons for this, but one of the biggest is its plot. Two dirty scavenger kids from the future find a man from the previous millennium (which is roughly our present). He doesn’t remember much and quickly finds himself future shocked. So the two kids explain stuff to him as he finds his way around.
This plot, as you may have gathered, doesn’t have a great deal of originality. No great surprises have come, making the whole thing feel a little simple. But in a way, simplicity is the point. It allows for a streamlined story, something you can relax with. Instead of running with the basic premise (man wakes up in the far future), Man of the Last Millennium sort of saunters around, taking the time to relish character beats.
In this respect it reminds me of Asimov: a basic premise (I’m thinking specifically of psychohistory from The Foundation series) gets room to breathe and be explored.
The Bradbury comparison comes about more because of the kid characters, who have the appropriate attitude and diction. Good work, there.
My main qualm with the story involves sentence-level errors. The author often ends dialogue with a period, where it should be finished with a comma (An example from the text: “’You still gotta eat.’ He said grumpily to Tunnel, and sat back on his stool.")
This isn’t quite so bad as the use of semicolons. It’s probably the trickiest and most potent of all punctuation marks, which makes its great overuse troubling. Seriously, anything more than one per every thousand words is probably too much. Man of the Last Century greatly surpasses that. Compounding the problem, the semicolon is often misused (Several times, the author uses it to link a dependent clause with an independent one. A comma would suffice in these instances).
If you get past that, the story’s good.
I can’t recommend this for everyone, but I do recommend it to those who miss the Golden Age of Science Fiction. More than any other serial I’ve read on the site, Man of the Last Millennium captures that era’s vibe.
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