©2007 Joe Haldeman (P)2008 Recorded Books
I love to read books; and now just recently I've discovered that audio books are very cool!! I'm also an author. You can find the SciFi book "The Curse of Europa" here on Audible or on Amazon.
I both love and hate time travel stories. I usually hate the ones that allow the protagonist to bop around at will. Especially ones that try to make a suspenseful (race against the clock) story to save the day - when all they have to do is use their stupid time machine and go back... say 12 hours more, etc.... i.e. Heros (TV show).
The time travel stories I love are ones where there are restrictions. This is one of those stories. This grad student, Matt, discovers that a simple device seems to be able to jump forward in time. The restrictions are that the amount of time it moves forward is exponential each time; so a few seconds turn into a few minutes, to days, months, years, etc. There is no going backwards.
So the story turns out to be him moving forward in time, further and further each time. It's a bit light heated but clever. A warning - if you can't handle a story that discusses and rebukes religion then steer clear.
When I first started listening to the narrator I was a little turned off - he seemed young and amateurish. But he actually ended up doing a pretty good job actually and since the story was completely centered around Matt (who is young and a bit immature) , the narrator's voice became totally appropriate and fit perfectly.
In all, this is a quick, witty, funny, and overall fun story. It was not at all what I expected and I was presently surprised.
Listener of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Intrigue (not romance), Historical Fiction and very eclectic in her literary wanderings.
When I read reviews before buying, I kept reading that it had a twist. How much of twist could a time travel book really have? It's a big one.
The story and characters are good on their own, nobody stands out as amazing, just solid enjoyment. But the twist had me literally going, "Huh? Huh? HUH!"
I stuck it out because I was so curious to see how the author could take me from "OMG No" to "Yay!" And he does.
CEO 42 Software, FNC 0 Consultant
Science Fiction has been around for about a century and yet this is the first book that bases a story on a Time Machine only going forward in time. While the scenarios are sometimes a bit odd, and the secondary premise is left unexplained, I still feel this is a book worth reading. Something about the characters stays with you long after the book is back on the shelf.
Some Time books can be sort of crushing, all "paradox" this and "I went back to change it all" that.. This story is nice and simple and easy to enjoy. and that's what i did, enjoy it.
It had all the good parts about practical time travel coupled with a nice story.
I love time travel stories and this was no disappointment. I do agree with the other review in that the writing was simple but I enjoyed the plot and characters. The author kept my interest and it was hard to put down. In all, a fun read. This was my first Haldeman and now I am interested in seeing what else he has done.
Hard science fiction that brought back memories of when I lived in Bahston. Just plain fun - a good yard to listen to with some elements here and there to make you think for a "gray minute" (listen to the book for that now obvious meaning). Probably one of the better ways I've spent 8 hours recently. Not polished enough for five stars but a page turner or enough to have you sitting out in the car waiting for a good place to turn the MP3 player off.
This book has me going back and considering Mr. Halderman's other selection.
Don't let the cover picture and title keep you away. A great science fiction selection, hard science with a human side, humorous and compassionate as well.
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Not too much to say - I find Time Travel stories pretty interesting and thought-provoking in general, and this one was no exception. I’d recommend it if you like the genre.
A novel that almost becomes a story; A 3 star rating that doesn't quite make it to 4.
I picked this one because the premise intrigued me. "Things are going nowhere for lowly MIT research assistant Matt Fuller - especially not after his girlfriend drops him for another man. But then while working late one night, he inadvertently stumbles upon what may be the greatest scientific breakthrough ever. His luck, however, runs out when he finds himself wanted for murder - in the future."
The book doesn't waste any time getting to the discovery of the time machine or the conflict created by the murder accusation. At first I really appreciated this about the novel. Matt makes a discovery and true to a scientist's form he begins testing it. I was drawn in by his curiosity and I wanted to see what would happen.
Then his curiosity leads him to create a bigger test, the end result of which is a wrong place wrong time (no pun intended) scenario that made it look like he killed someone. At that point there was good tension and I wanted to see how it would be resolved as well.
But that's where the book started to let me down. The time machine essentially becomes just an easy way for him to escape. It was a let down, particularly when he lands in the future in a very ho-hum existence. The main tension there seems to be that between a dull comfortable life and the knowledge that he can escape it with the press of a button. Whoopdidoo.
The pattern of easy escape continues through a couple more episodes. I say episodes because the tension and attention to them is not quite full enough to call them adventures. Along the way Matt picks up a girl, so to speak, and she (Martha) somewhat easily becomes convinced that her whole system of beliefs is bogus; therefore, she would rather stay with him than return to her own time and place. That was particularly convenient. Their relationship is cute enough not to be completely irritating and undeveloped enough to be superficial.
Eventually, Matt picks up a powerful being who does not have the best of intentions for him and that has the potential for some tension or conflict. But . . . and you'll love this . . . the being is easily sent on its way by some just slightly more powerful beings from somewhere in time. The bad gal dispatched, the love interest no longer interested in her own time, the new powerful being with the ability to send them back in time, and we have the makings of a happy, if somewhat convenient, ending.
The end itself comes in a summary fashion. We are shown that the happy couple both have successful careers and a whole mess of well-adjusted and successful children.
If you're looking for something to listen to while you drive (as I was) or a beach book, then this is a decent fit. It is light on science, character, plot, tension, and theme. That said, it has just enough interesting bits to keep you reading/listening. I did, but I also came away with a ho-hum feeling.
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