Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Time Travel

"How To Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe" by Charles Yu.

Charles' father disappeared many years ago after inventing a time machine. Charles jumps into the time machine in an effort to find out about his own past and look for clues to his father's whereabouts. 

In the science of time travel that his father invented, the manifestation of the time machine exists as the novel in my hands,  ergo, the book is the time machine and Charles Yu is traveling through time in it. I found this concept of book/time machine quite original and intriguing.

It is possible, in principle, to construct a universal time machine from no other components than (i) a piece of paper that is moved in two directions through a recording element, backward and forward, which (ii) performs only two basic operations, narration and the straightforward application of the past tense.

It's a surprisingly easy to follow despite the jargon in it and has a deep emotional and touching core.  The scenes where he interacts with the past versions of his mother and father are quite affecting. 

I don't miss him anymore. most of the time, anyway. I want to. I wish I could but unfortunately, it's true: time does heal. It will do so whether you like it or not, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. If you're not careful, time will take away everything that ever hurt you, everything you have ever lost, and replace it with knowledge. Time is a machine: it will convert your pain into experience.
I quite enjoyed the book. My only wish that some of the longer science was edited because while it sounded elegant and persuasive,  ultimately I was less interested in the "technology" and wanted to just move along to the next scene.

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