©2007 Joe Haldeman (P)2008 Recorded Books
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.
My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine; (fortunately) everybody drinks water. - Mark Twain
Time travel is my favorite science fiction sub-genre, and the added dystopian future world Haldeman unfolds makes for great entertainment. While I'm not a fan of all things Haldeman, I really liked this book and "The Forever War". Both novels are top notch must read science fiction. No science fiction library is complete without Haldeman's two great works of "The Accidental Time Machine" and "The Forever War".
I've been listening to audio books for well over twenty years (even before audible was available). Secretly, I wish I could be a narrator.
This is quite different from the usual time travel novels. For one thing, it's quite believable. The author did his homework. As an engineer, I can attest that the laws of physics only allow for travel into the future and not the past. And the ending was really great.
Matt is a smart but lazy MIT research assistant who accidentally discovers a time machine. However it will only go forward in time, and will exponentially increases with every jump. While the first jumps are in minutes it will quickly jumps day, years and centuries with no guarantee he can ever get back.
Although I haven't read it, it feels like a modern version of The Time Machine. The restriction of only being able to go forward in time avoids a lot of the typical time travel cliches. Still it doesn't try to ignore paradoxes but faces them head on and discusses the theories in depth.
While the story it does deal a lot with time theory, overall it's really is a coming of age story. We see Matt develop and grow naturally as a person, discovering himself.
I won't spoil what he encounters in the future but at least part of it follows the typical society evolves backwards, or at least to outward appearances. For parts it seem to be predictable and boring but it does become unpredictable again. It has religious themes that some people may take issue with, but since the protagonist is a skeptic we have to remember we're shown the world through his eyes.
The ending doesn't pull any fancy tricks, comes close to Deus Ex Machina but doesn't.
Having a contemporary protagonist gave it a fresh feel and if you like time travel stories give it a read. If you don't like all the timey wimey mumbo jumbo be prepared to skip through parts.
This isn't the deepest or most insightful science fiction out there, and to be honest it felt a bit too similar to The Forever War (a man stuck in multiple far-out futures that seem alien to him). But the main character was pretty likable and I still enjoyed it. The pacing's good and the author does a good job of keeping you interested in what's coming next.
I'd recommend it if you're looking for a light read, but if you haven't read "The Forever War" I recommend you check that out instead.
This story doesn't drag its heels, but it leaves some holes in the story that you wish the author had closed. Still a good listen for science fiction fans though.
I would rewrite the second half or so of the book to build on the strong beginning. It's almost as if this book is a combination of two efforts, the strong first-half effort and the weak, silly second-half effort.
I'd be willing to give him another chance. The first half of the book reveals him to be a very good author.
I would not. I think the movie would be all special effects to try to capture the second half, and to me a plot is more important than effects.
I was really excited about this book when I started reading, as I'm now into a phase in my science-fiction-reading career where time travel intrigues me. But the silly second half of the book made me want to just finish the thing so I could at least find out how it ends, then move on. I also don't like authors mixing religion and science fiction. Too many authors these days use their books as platforms to expound on their negative view of religion. If there were such a thing as Christian science fiction, I would not read it either; when I pick up a sci fi book, I want the sci fi, not a sermon, no matter what the author's religious views might be.
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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.
The ability to listen while I drive :-) It was a very good book to have read to me.
No but when the commercial breaks (times I wasn't in my car) became to long I wanted to go out and drive just so I could find out what happened next in the story.
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