All the Time in the World

My taste in reading material is wide and varied: SF/fantasy/"speculative fiction", mysteries (police procedurals, mostly), history, fanfic, straight fiction, smutty vampire books, biographies, poetry, cereal boxes, assembly instructions, the fine print, and your mind.


Waiting - Frank M. Robinson Pretty sure I have read this before, like maybe on a plane or something - some aspects of it seemed very familiar - but obviously it didn't stick with me if I did.

The premise is the existence of a humanoid race entirely distinct from homo sapiens, which has lived among humankind for 35,000 years, yet managed to hide its differences. In the face of modern challenges -- sophisticated medical diagnostics and the increasing difficulty of avoiding coming in contact with the medical establishment, plus the spiraling devastation of the natural environment -- these "Old People" have decided they can no longer just wait around for what they have always felt was inevitable: for humans eventually to succumb to their violent and rapacious nature and do away with themselves; they need to act to put an end to the human plague on the earth. More immediately, they need to prevent anyone from becoming aware of their existence. When an auto accident fatally injures one of their people, the physical anomalies observed as he is treated in the emergency room attract the attention of Dr. Larry Shea, who conducts an autopsy on the unidentified body and recognizes that he is seeing something unprecedented. To cut short his plan to publish his findings, the Old People call on their inborn talents for telepathy and remote neurological manipulation to bring about his death via attack by a pack of dogs.

Reporter Artie Banks, a long-time friend of Dr. Shea's, suspects there's more to Shea's bizarre death than meets the eye and begins to investigate. Before long, anyone who has been privy to Dr. Shea's plans or begins to suspect the existence of the Old People meets some violent end - prompting someone to murder or suicide is easily achieved when you can take over their mind.

Unfortunately, Robinson's characterization is superficial (particularly the women, who all seem weak, manipulative, and/or hypersexed), the global warming/environment destruction information is presented in a dreadfully pedantic manner, and any reader who doesn't instantly perceive Artie's blind spot is probably just not sufficiently involved in the story to see what's coming.

It didn't really take me a week to read this - I just misplaced it and went on to something else until it showed up again.