SFFKIT for April - Time Travel
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Welcome to April's SFF KIT! This month's topic is Time Travel. I've always found it a fascinating idea, maybe because it opens up so many questions. Where will you go, past or future? How will you get there, science or magic? Do you get split up into teeny pieces and then put back together or float through some sort of time soup and come out sticky and smelling of beets? What are the consequences? Paradoxes? Multiple timelines? Will you be able to return to your own time, and if so, would you want to? The potential for good stories is practically limitless.
I've gathered together a few examples, some leaning more towards fantasy and others more to science fiction. I have read most of these, but not all. So I apologize if one isn't as time travelly as it should be. For those I haven't read, I'm basing their inclusion on this list on tags and descriptions.
The Door into Summer
The Time Machine
Time and Again
A Wrinkle in Time
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.
The Time Traveler's Wife
Doctor Who series
Behold the Man
The Time Ships
YA and Kid Lit
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
The Great Work of Time
A Sound of Thunder
Remember to add your selections to the wiki.
I'm planning on reading Time and Again. We'll see how it goes... I've planned to read it before, and put it off; time travel stories tend to be hit or miss for me. Even in just that graphic above, the short line of book titles includes one of my favorites (Timeline) and one of those rare books which I absolutely abhorred (The Time Traveler's Wife).
I'd highly recommend any of Connie Willis's time travel books, particularly To Say Nothing of the Dog!
I'm planning to read Jasper Fforde's The Woman Who Died a Lot, which isn't *about* time travel but definitely has some time travel in it. Another possibility is Kathleen A. Flynn's The Jane Austen Project.
>2 whitewavedarling: Timeline is one of my favorites as well. I reread it a few years ago, and it was just as good as I remember it being when it first came out. I liked Time Traveler's Wife, but I can see why others might not.
>3 christina_reads: & >4 owlie13: The Jane Austen Project sounds interesting. I may have to see if I can find a copy.
>6 majkia: I really enjoy the TimeRiders series. I think I'm up to book six. They're a lot of fun and an interesting take on the consequences of altering the past.
I haven't quite decided what I'll be reading yet. I'm thinking about Night Watch, but it's the 29th book in the Discworld series, and I'm only up to book 3. I'm not sure about reading them out of order. I've always got loads of Doctor Who if I can't find something else.
It's great to see the love for Time and Again as that is also the book that I am planning on reading for our month of Time Travel.
All Doctor Who, all the time (har) for me! I have two lined up for various CATs, and three out from the library... and then there's the growing stockpile of novels and audio dramas... :D
I just read the graphic novel Paper Girls Vol 1 which involved time travel. I already requested the second volume from the library so will probably get to it in April. I’m reading QAWrinkle in Time the graphic novel right now - tesseract is time travel (I think!)
I really enjoyed the Connie Willis time travel books. Kage Baker's series is also good. For April, I am considering returning to S. M. Stirling's Nantucket series for Book 2, Against the Tide of Years.
>13 Robertgreaves: If it was the RandomCAT, I'd say it counts without question. I don't know how the SFF is supposed to be defined, though. Do they all have to be fiction? I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks.
That said, in my opinion, the challenges are meant to be fun and interpreted however we want to do them. So I feel like you should be able to read whatever you personally think works. I was thinking when I was making the list of suggested titles that while Doctor Who is a time traveller, he has lots of books where there is no actual time travel. I'd still count those books, but someone else might not because strictly speaking there was no time travel. I don't think either way of looking at it is wrong though.
ETA that book sounds pretty interesting.
>15 lavaturtle: >16 VioletBramble: Kindred is excellent. I am also a big fan of Connie Willis's time travel books - Doomsday Book is still my favorite. Shoot. I may have just convinced myself to reread it yet again..... Time and Again is an old favorite.
Some books I'm strongly considering reading in April include:
If I Never Get Back by Daryl Brock (baseball and time travel)
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (time traveling serial killer)
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
The Time Traders by Andre Norton
Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson (basis for film Somewhere in Time)
I'm sure I may find myself picking up others as I see what other folks are reading. So many possibilities.
>19 cmbohn: I hadn't heard of that one before, but it sounds good. I'm gonna look and see if my library has them.
>19 cmbohn: I've read the first one, I should try the second for this month. If I have time!
I was too impatient to wait for April (I had the book out of the library already), so I tore through 11/22/63 in March. It was awesome! Two of my favorite tropes in time travel stories are the butterfly effect and people having to adapt to daily life in the past, and this delivered those in spades, along with typical Kingian suspense and dread. Definitely recommend checking it out.
Just finished The Jane Austen Project. I confess - I have never read a Jane Austen book. I know, I know. But I received this as part of a subscription, and it fit perfectly with the time travel theme. Despite my lack of familiarity with Miss Austen's works, I did enjoy this book. Apparently it is quite well-researched, and does a good job of portraying both the Austen family and the time (1815). Recommended to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, time travel, and Jane Austen.
>21 h-mb: I found that one at the library, will give it a shot. Everything else I've seen here I've already read, or doesn't pique my interest. :)
I finished Time and Again last night, and I so adored this book--I don't even care for time travel books, but I can't wait to read more from this author. I think it's the first book I've read where he simply made me believe in time travel, and I loved it. Full review written.
I read All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai, which was a different kind of time-travel story. Tom, the narrator, lives in a utopian 2016 where a world-changing invention in 1965 guaranteed limitless, clean, free energy, freeing humanity from drudgery. Tom's father is inventing a time-travel machine, and when a relationship with his crush goes horribly wrong, Tom impulsively travels back in time and screws everything up. He's thrust back into a different 2016 where the energy engine was never invented--a dirty dystopian world that is actually our 2016. He has to decide whether he wants to set things right, and if so, how. For much of the novel, it's not actually clear whether Tom is just crazy, although that is resolved, and this is actually a time-travel story, which like so many, gets tangled and somewhat paradoxical at the end. Still, I enjoyed the breezy narration and Tom's evolution as a character, as well as the general reflection on our ideas about utopias.
26- Start with The book. The short story was written later and has spoilers for the series.
Just finished TimeRiders. I had a lot of issues with it. Won't be reading the rest of the series given that.
>32 sturlington: I listened to All Our Wrong Todays (written and narrated by Elan Mastai) earlier this year. I had put it in my listening queue last year on the recommendation of a friend, but I had no idea what it was about and went in blind (or else I probably would have saved it for this month!) I gave it a solid four stars: I thought the time travel element/physics was well thought out, the plotting was tight, and the author actually did a great job of narrating his work. Even now, I can remember some great lines from the book, like, "Every invention creates its own accident! " I'm looking forward to whatever else Mastai writes :-)
>37 Tanya-dogearedcopy: I was thinking about that line a lot the last couple of days, what with Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress.
Oh, I really liked How to Live in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu. It's a little more challenging read, but I thought it was great. It's a stand alone, which is nice.
I finished another book for this theme: The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch. When I first picked up this book, I thought it was a police-procedural thriller, but I didn't realize it was also a multiverse-hopping time-travel book. It is really satisfying on all counts, with a compelling protagonist, Shannon Moss, who investigates crimes for the NCIS related to the Navy's top-secret missions to Deep Space and Deep Time. A doomsday is approaching, called the Terminus, a truly horrifying event that gets closer in each possible future that is explored, and Moss's current investigation is closing in on who caused the Terminus and how. This is a mind-warping read, often confusing as Moss travels between alternate futures and tugs on all the threads, but those who stick with it will be rewarded. It's a well-done mystery, an exciting thriller, quite often bordering on horror (a warning to the squeamish!), with solid speculative fiction as the foundation.
It's not a standard time-travel (not sure I would even label it time-travel at all...), for sure, but quite a ride nevertheless. Finished Slaughterhouse-Five and will be looking for more Vonnegut.
I also read Time and Again for the time travel theme and I enjoyed the book but found the time travel system a little simplistic which had me wondering if it was that easy why everyone wasn't jumping about in time.
>47 DeltaQueen50:, I think, in some ways, that was what I liked about it lol. Sort of a beauty in simplicity, when I expect time travel works to be more convoluted. Like it was more connected to mindset than anything--the power of positive thinking and all that, I suppose--so that everyone Would be doing it if it occurred to them that they could and they really believed in it :)
>50 lavaturtle: Glad to hear it as I plan to read that next month!
I was lukewarm about The Time Ships at first but at about 2/3 through, I am finding it very good! Of course, as in Well's original, the mechanics of how time travel is achieved is fuzzy but I like the way Baxter introduces the idea of parallel universes.
Finished 15 Minutes: A Time Travel Suspense Thriller by Jill Cooper, what seems to be the first book in a current YA three-book series/trilogy. Lots of time travel - probably a bit too much time travel - near the end to the point that the time shifts (and the blurring of one time line and the memories of another time line) were happening so frequently that I found myself having to re-read some paragraphs just to get things straight in my mind as to what Lara was experiencing in the time line she was in versus the memories playing out in her mind.
Overall, a faced-paced, somewhat confusing read with a conspiracy angle I wasn’t expecting, and which proved to be the best part of the story for me.
I finished Soul Music yesterday, which fits the category:
Pratchett gives us Discworld's version of the birth of Rock & Roll and The Day the Music (almost) Died.
Death (and his granddaughter) play a big part in this one, and as he's my favorite Discworld character so far, it's not surprising that this is one of my favorites of the series so far.
If anyone is still looking for a book to read, I'd recommend Pilot X. It's an interesting read. It also has the benefit of satisfying the X AlphaKit challenge and a BINGO square.
>54 dreamweaver529: I love that cover design!
I finished Weave a Circle Round by Kari Maaren, about a teenager who gets caught up with two powerful time-travelling beings. It was nominated for the 2017 Nebula (Norton) YA award and is a different and interesting take on time travel.
I also finished Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. While I enjoyed it, I have to say that I'm a bit surprised that this is on the "1001 books" list, though I don't dispute that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy deserves its spot there.
I have finished The Time Ships… A wonderful tribute to Wells and Baxter managed to make it up-to-date while remaining true to Wells' character.
I probably won't finish it before the end of April, but I've started The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn and am liking it so far.
I finished one more read to wrap up the month - City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte, a pseudonym for the authors Meg Howrey and Christina Lynch. A sub-par story that is probably best described as a "rom-com paranormal suspense" read. Instead of the usual time travel where the character travels through time (kind of like Alice falling down the rabbit hole), the authors decide instead to enable the lead character to experience different segments of history while staying localized - more like a drug-induced hallucination.
I had a very successful Time Traveling month.
I started the month with a list of possible books, of which I read three:
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
If I Never Get Back by Darryl Brock
The Time Traders by Andre Norton
Then, just because I'd never read it and it seemed like a good time, I picked up 11/22/63 by Stephen King. That was a monster!
Finally, I was absurdly pleased with myself that I found a time travel play: Berkeley Square by John L. Balderston. It was written in 1926, based on an unfinished work by Henry James. I can't honestly recommend it unless you have a particular interest in plays of that era, but it was apparently a big hit on Broadway with Leslie Howard in the lead. Who knew?
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