The Big Time
by Fritz Leiber
Tor, 2000, ISBN 0-312-89079-6
A book review by Elisabeth Carey
Greta Forzane is an Entertainer, a sort of USO worker for the soldiers fighting in the Change War, a mighty struggle to determine the course of history. The controlling forces in this war are known to their human forces only as Spiders and Snakes; Greta's with the Spiders. She works in an R&R facility for Spider forces coming off rough duty. Some soldiers arrive straight from combat, and then some more arrive, this time non-humans, bringing an atomic bomb intended for use in changing the outcome of a conflict deep in Earth's past. Tensions amongst the ill-matched group run high--and then they find that their Place has been cut off from the rest of reality, and the machine that did it, which is also the machine which maintains the existence of the Place, has vanished. While trying to solve this very alarming problem, these people learn entirely too much about each other, and possibly even about themselves. In the end, I concluded that I didn't much like any of them, but that really didn't matter while I was reading. Recommended.