Tag Archive | The Time Traveller’s Almanac

The Great Clock by Langdon Jones

18586183Source: Own collection
Format: Hardback
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

This is a fantastic story. I have to say I had a distinct feeling of déjà vu that told me I’d read the story before, although for the life of me I have no idea where I could have picked it up.

In this story the reader meets a man who maintains a clock. But this is no ordinary clock. This clock is seriously massive, and maintaining it is a full time occupation.

Seriously, WOW. Yes, it’s perhaps a bit languorous, a bit blow-by-blow account, but at the same time it’s visceral, gritty and edgy. And the closing paragraphs just blow one’s mind.

Excellent science fiction fare with a few twists included.

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The Mouse Ran Down by Adrian Tchaikovsky

18586183Source: Own collection
Format: Hardback
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Some time after the end of time, human refugees from the end of time hide out in time fragments, shifting from fragment to fragment in a bid to survive. But there’s a catch. They’re losing fragments, as an enemy is shutting them down one by one.

The story opens on a band of refugee humans hiding in 1500s London. Their time there has come to an end, though, and it’s time to move on – to Babylon. Only to discover that the enemy has shut that fragment down, and so they must move on again, to a 1943 Warsaw ghetto. Things start closing down, and the narrator is sent off in search of Doctor Comoy, who is allegedly attempting to fix time.

What a fun story. Serious, really, considering it’s about the time beyond the end of time, and deteriorating time at that, but fun nevertheless. I enjoyed some of Tchaikovsky’s descriptions of the time fragmentation and how things had got into the state they were, and the imagery of how people lived through these fragments of time and moved around between the fragments like they’re little islands on a sea.

A very enjoyable, although perhaps poignant, story.

Young Zaphod Plays it Safe by Douglas Adams

18586183

Source: Own collection
Format: Hardback
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

I read this as part of The Time Traveller’s Almanac, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.

A typically wacky, entertaining story dealing with flying filing cabinets, lobsters (many…) and designer humans from Douglas Adams. As science fiction is wont to do, he takes various digs at “life as we know it”, but all in good humour. A fun read.

Given that I was expecting a story dealing with time travel, I was very disappointed to discover that it is not. This has nothing to do with the story itself, but everything to do with it’s selection for inclusion in The Time Traveller’s Almanac.

The Time Machine by HG Wells

18586183

Source: Own Collection
Format: Hardback
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

I read this as part of The Time Traveller’s Almanac, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.

This review is specific to an extract read as part of The Time Traveller’s Almanac (compiled by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer) in 2015. I have previously read the whole book (and would give it an overall rating of 4/5 stars).

In this extract, the Traveller details his first experience of time travel in the time machine he built.

I really enjoyed reading this extract. The descriptions are almost poetic in quality, and what would probably take most writers a few sentences to detail, Wells does in paragraphs – and it is not boring! I loved the descriptions as the machine moves faster and faster through time, both the visual depictions as well as the Traveller’s account of his feelings as he observes changes around him. Poignant and beautiful, with hints of sadness mixed in.

I think this is one of the best reads so far from The Time Traveller’s Almanac.

A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury

18586183Source: Own collection
Format: Hardback
Rating:  5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

I read this as part of The Time Traveller’s Almanac, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.

What an excellent story. I thought this would be my first reading of it, but as the travellers arrived back in the past, the description of the metal walkways immediately threw images into my mind that assured me I’ve either read this story before or seen pictures depicting the events. Either way.

Ray Bradbury has an interesting style of writing, building images upon images to create a sense of (for example) just how large a T-Rex is. I was drawn into the action with ease, and one really feels for the main character as he realises things are way out of his control. And, of course, the tale devolves from there to a rather terminal conclusion (very well done!).

I highly recommend this book to lovers of time travel.