Time Travel

Follow the lure of the fourth dimension into some remarkable books from our library’s Science Fiction collection!

This one, Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor, is a fast-paced and humorous story of a near-future society that is experimenting with time travel.  The protagonist, a whip-smart young woman called Madeleine Maxwell, brings her ambition, intelligence, and drive to St. Mary’s, an institute dedicated to sending historians back in time for the most primary source of all: history itself.  There’s a lot of drama among the historians, who are a very competitive bunch, and even more drama when villains are added to the plot.  Whether the characters are in the present or the past, their adventures will pull you right into their world.

The next novel was published in two volumes and is described as a diptych… so arty! The titles are Blackout and All Clear by Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning author Connie Willis. The pacing in these two books becomes positively frenetic as historians go back in time to complete research assignments during World War II and everything keeps going wrong. The “drops,” the times and places where historians are meant to be to return to their present time, don’t open on schedule and this results in frantic efforts to contact other historians who have traveled back to the same time and place. Trains are missed, air raids destroy meeting places, and other complications lead to a complex plot filled with appealing characters. The story breathlessly arrives at an unpredictable but satisfying conclusion.

I doubt there’s such a thing as a mellow time travel story.  The fast pacing and the experimental nature of the plot line guarantee a lot of science-geek suspense.

Other novels featuring time travel include:

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

The Just City by Jo Walton


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