Times of Old by Ernest Bywater

Author's Description:
A man is killed by religious militants while protecting his fellow workers. He unexpectedly wakes up to find he's been abducted by aliens and they have an offer for him. He accepts the offer to be placed in an environment like Earth was 35,000 to 40,000 years ago, complete with animals and humans of that time. But there's a catch, it's a one-way trip and he's a star in their version of a reality broadcast show. They supply some gear to help him survive, and now it's up to him to do so.
Size: 312 KB ( ~ 59,164 words)
Genre: Drama
Sex Contents: No Sex
Tags: Ma/Fa, Romantic, Heterosexual, Fiction, Historical, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Aliens, Far Past, Violent, Workplace, Politics

Review by manddscott   [other reviews by manddscott]

Reviewed: 2016-05-30

This story appeared in the stream as a random story from the archives. A man saves his coworkers from some terrorist attackers and, rather than dying, is caught by aliens to move him to an earthlike world, but placed, according to the author, in a time 35,000 to 40,000 years before the man's time, but equipped with many more modern marvels.

For plot, I give this story a B (7). It is above average, but there are a number of anachronisms that don't make sense. Perhaps I simply misremember my ancient history, but the reactions of the natives are too modern to follow properly. This is in addition to no mention being made of any significant size difference. A modern male would likely be about 6 feet tall or taller, and the description of one of the females in the story as being about 6'6" (195 cm) and similar in size to the main character, supports that. The average size of humans has increased over time, generally speaking. This was particularly true of the hunter-gatherer populations that existed in that age, as food scarcity and lack of proper nutrition would have hindered full growth, but no mention of him towering over others is made.

For technical score, also a B (7). Again, above average, but enough small errors to bring the score down, even accounting for Australian English versus US spellings.

For personal appeal, also a B (7). The story has a lot of potential, but has too many small holes in the plot, and only covers 1 year in the timeline. For a story like this, I would want to see a decade or more of development, to see how the MC influenced the people. *SPOILER ALERT* Finally, the spoilers. Please don't read further unless you have read the story already. The MC is said to rescue the Two Rivers tribe members fleeing the cannibals. Supposedly, most of the Two Rivers tribe fit into one of the wagons, and the tribe was supposed to number in the hundreds. Based on the dimensions given for the wagon, that should have been impossible. Then, the MC is said to have impregnated most of the women in the combined tribe(s) in order to lead to the inclusion of new genetic material. I have only one question... What will happen when his children are all of marrying age but they are all siblings? Kind of defeats the purpose in that regard. Just a thought.

Plot: 7 | Technical Quality: 7 | Appeal to Reviewer: 7