"The Ship that Sailed the Time Stream" is a 1965 science-fiction adventure novel by G.C. Edmondson, a Hispanic-American author from Washington State. As the title suggests, the book combines naval adventure with time travel, to tell a short (185 pages) and action-packed story.

Joseph Rate is an ensign in the navy who has been put in charge of a wooden sailing ship doing experimental research (the low tech design is to minimize noise, but of course it will be very convenient to the plot). Within the first five pages of the book, his ship is hit with lightning, and him and a dozen crew members travel a thousand years into the past, where they immediately meet vikings! In the usual fashion, it takes Rate and his crew a while to overcome their natural scepticism and realize they actually have travelled in time. The book then proceeds to tell an adventure story, with a few twists, as they travel around Europe and the Mediterranean, trying to figure out why they are travelling through time. They encounter Arab travellers, and then skip a thousand years further in the past, and fight Romans on a volcanic Aegean island. Along the way, the crew of the ship, who represent a cross-section of regional stereotypes from the 1960s, pick up other stock characters (fiesty Spanish girl who escapes from the Vikings, wise Iman who believes their time travel story, and a displaced madam), before finally figuring out the mystery of why they are travelling back in time.

This is a book where, in the first five pages, we see a time-travelled navy ship being attacked by Vikings. That is all you really need to know to know if this is the type of book you might like. The science-fiction concepts of the book (which involve lightning hitting a jury-rigged whiskey still) are there mostly so we can have an adventure story where a modern ship sails the medieval and classical worlds. It is not a bad thing, but to me, this was closer to Gilligan's Island than it was to science-fiction.

The proceeding three paragraphs were what I was going to say originally: with some research, I found this book was nominated for a Nebula Award in 1965, so perhaps what I thought to be a simple and fun adventure story was more highly regarded by some in the science-fiction community.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.