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Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait by K. A.…

Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait (edition 2011)

by K. A. Bedford (Author)

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1013187,335 (3.39)2
Science fiction. Working as a senior time machine repair technician, Spider has seen it all - past, present and future. Wanting more out of life, Spider hates time travel and everything that goes with it.after all, time travel cost him his job as a top investigating police officer. Fixing time machines is a waste of Spider's talent. But he's resigned to do it until he discovers, inside a broken second-hand time machine, the corpse of a woman; brutally murdered, wrapped in plastic and duct tape. Before Spider can act on his old police instincts, the shadowy Department of Time and Space steps in and seizes the machine, the remains, and all of the evidence, and closes the investigation. Spider wants answers, but his questions only lead to more questions; unsettling evidence, brewing trouble, and the knowledge that Spider, himself, might be involved in an epic battle at the End of Time. Who can Spider trust? And what will they tell him: the truth or what he wants to hear?… (more)
Title:Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait
Authors:K. A. Bedford (Author)
Info:EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing (2011), Edition: 1, 336 pages
Collections:Kindle library, To read

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Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait by K. A. Bedford



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Enjoyable parody of the crime noir genre. I was fascinated by the skill with which K.A. Bedford kept together a sprawling plot across a number of alternate time lines. I also enjoyed the familiarity of the Perth setting ( )
  TedWitham | Jan 3, 2010 |
TIME MACHINES REPAIRED WHILE-U-WAIT arrived recently, intended probably for my science fiction reading partner, but something in the blurb made me want to snaffle it first, and I'm very very glad I did.

This is one of those books that come along every now and again to tip the whole concept of "genre" on its head. It's a crime story, in a Science Fiction style world. Set in 2027 Western Australia, 'Spider" Webb is an ex-cop, recently separated, working now as a Time Machine mechanic. In 2027 suburban Malaga, a lot of people have time machines, but the future isn't completely mad - these machines come with some limitations. You can slip backwards and forwards to visit, say the relatives, but you can't interfere with major world events (you only get to visit in "ghost" mode). Time machines though, have their problems, mostly to do with cats it seems, and there is a never-ending stream of them needing fixing passing through Spider's workshop. (In a very nice twist it doesn't matter how long it takes to fix one of these things, Spider just goes back in time to just after he picked it up to deliver the repaired machine back!).

Spider's own life is complicated (of course!). He lives in a hotel since his wife threw him out, yet he's forever being summoned to his old home to fix whatever it is piece of technology that's playing up. Urgently. He works long hours, at a job he doesn't like; for a boss he can't stand - even if he does insist that everyone call him Dickhead (McMahon). No matter how hard he tries he cannot coax a decent cup of coffee out of the robot coffee machine (even though the company receptionist has no problems at all), and with all the advances in science and technology, traffic jams are still the bane of his existence. It almost seems inevitable that one day, a repair job is going to get complicated, just to prove to Spider that his life really does suck. So the arrival of a woman's dead body when he's trying to analyse an unstable Time Machine, well it had to happen.

Despite the authorities taking over the investigation, Spider can't leave well enough alone, and as events get more and more complicated, Spider finds himself in the fight of his, and his wife's, lives.

Given the advent of Time Machines, it's hardly surprising that investigating a crime could go in a very different direction from what you'd expect in 2009. But there are some unexpected twists and turns that make the expected or seemingly obvious, well not. There's also delightfully bizarre stuff going on with Spider who ends up working with Future and near-Future versions of himself as he goes backwards and forward in time, and right out to the End of Time. Or somewhere. It all gets very crazy at points with Future Spider sleeping with current Spider's unrequited lust, with Spider's wife being threatened, or not threatened, or dead, or alive, or something... At some points things do seem to get a little muddled, but I'm not sure that it was muddled in a totally bad way. I liked the idea that even a time-travelling repair man, ex-cop, accidental detective, saver of the universe could get a tad confused about where or who or what on earth was going on. Or not on earth as the case may be.

For an infrequent Science Fiction reader, this book had real appeal if for no other reason that it was incredibly entertaining. Mind you, I gave up looking for the detail in any of the alternate timelines and just opted for going along for the ride. The ride greatly enhanced by the character of Spider, whose reluctant hero status was actually quite appealing. Add to that the surprise package of Dickhead, so gloriously over the top that he just had to an anti-hero - somehow.

The only possible complaint is that the book did sort of crash to a bit of an ending, and it may be that a crime fiction fan would find that the investigation component took a secondary seat to the alternate timelines and a threat to the entire world type scenario, but who's to say what the rules are in a cross-genre book like this. Personally I just thought this was tremendous fun. And I profoundly hope that I never have to meet up with my Future / Near-Future or Past self. There are some things from the past that would be best staying there, and I certainly don't want to chat to my future up close and over breakfast. ( )
  austcrimefiction | Dec 7, 2009 |
In a near future Western Australia where time machines for personal use can be bought out of a catalog, Aloysius "Spider" Webb is a time machine repairman. He was a member of the Western Australia police, until he was forced to leave under very unpleasant circumstances.

He spends most of his time dealing with idiot customers who don’t bother to read the instruction manual, or are upset because they can’t travel to some major event in history, and change things. The Department of Time and Space (DOTAS) has rules about such things, and the ability to enforce them. His boss is a thoroughly dislikable person who everyone calls Dickhead, right to his face.

Things get interesting when, one day, a time machine arrives with another time machine inside it. In that second time machine is a female murder victim. DOTAS comes and slaps a Top Secret sign on everything. Things get even more interesting when Spider finds a future version of himself, brutally murdered. Iris Street, the local police Inspector, is called in. She and Spider had a brief, but torrid, affair while he was a cop. It was part of the reason for his abrupt departure.

Spider meets several other future versions of himself, including a ninja type at the end of time. There is one spaceship of "good guys" holding out against the "bad guys," led by Spider’s boss, Dickhead. There are also alien beings called vores, who are literally eating the universe from the outside. Back in the present, Spider, Iris and another future version of Spider deal with the aftermath of a woman who, six years previously, uploaded a video to the internet of her suicide by self-immolation. It was in retaliation for her husband having an affair with Clea Fassbinder (the dead woman in the time machine).

This will certainly give the reader a mental workout. The plot may get a little gory, and convoluted, but it is a really good story, and is very much worth reading. ( )
  plappen | Jul 30, 2009 |
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"If it's another dead cat," said Aloysius "Spider" Webb, senior time machine technician, "you're buying the next round".
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