Yonder Comes the Other End of Time
combines two of Suzette Haden Elgin's lesser-known series: the Ozark Trilogy, set on the Planet Ozark, and the Communipath Worlds, a group of novels set in the Tri-Galactic Federation, starring Coyote Jones, heroic if occasionally bumbling agent of the Tri-Galactic Intelligence Service.
This book was the last one written in either series, and in it, Coyote Jones comes to Ozark and meets Responsible of Brightwater.
This might sound kind of awesome if you are a fan of both series (and I have read and enjoyed all of them). But honestly, my fondness for this book was mostly nostalgic, along with the knowledge that Elgin will not be writing any more novels, given her sad health situation. As a novel, it does answer a number of questions left hanging at the end of the Ozark Trilogy, such as the role of Responsible and why she's so powerful, the true nature of the Garnet Ring and the Out-Cabal, and how a bunch of hill folk managed to transport themselves to another planet early in the 21st century.
There are some pretty silly plot devices, there are digressions that don't really go anywhere (but we do get to meet Responsible's older sister Troublesome again), and the character of Coyote Jones was rendered far more unlikable than he was in the other novels starring him.
Coyote is a tremendously powerful projecting telepath, but he's also "mind-blind," meaning telepathic powers, for the most part, do not affect him. He's an affable, arrogant, red-headed futuristic Viking folklorist, and the Communipath Worlds books show him being generally compassionate and usually smart, while a bit too prone to blunder into situations because he's immune to mental powers and because he represents the almighty Tri-Galactic Intelligence Service. Elgin also writes him as a bit of a satire of the lady-pleasing Secret Agent Man archetype. He does get laid an awful lot, yet without having a single genuinely macho bone in his body.
He does not get laid in this book. Mostly, he mopes, whines, complains, carries on, and acts like a great big foolish baby. At every turn, upon meeting Ozarkers, he makes an ass of himself. I've written before that Suzette Haden Elgin has some rather odd
ideas about gender relationships, and I really got the impression that Coyote Jones was meant to be a cartoonish representation of how men behave. He exists to be scolded and put in his place, and also to draw a stark moral distinction between the big bad rest of the world (or in this case, three galaxies), and the hard-working, mind-your-own-business Ozarkers who have lived a thousand years on a planet with barely any crime or violence.
That said, the book is still fun, especially with Coyote Jones and his super-advanced technology and awesome "psience" butting heads against Ozarkers and their stubborn independence and "magic." Coyote Jones and Ozarkers both have really
hard heads.Yonder Comes the Other End of Time
is a science fiction fairy tale. If you have not read the Ozark Trilogy first, and preferably a couple of the Coyote Jones books as well, then it's going to seem awfully silly and nonsensical. If you have read those books, then this book is still a little silly, but you'll enjoy it more.