Category Archives: WWII

Time Travel: a Popular Scifi theme


Recently my brother requested a good book on time travel.

Now, I know one of his favorite scifi books is Dinosaur Beach by Keith Laumer because of the time travel element where future impacts the present.

And Caught in Time...because, well, I wrote it. (See right panel)

My favorite time travel novels are Connie Willis’s To Say Nothing of the Dog and Blackout/All Clear. (All won Hugo’s)

But his request fit in perfectly with what I was reading and getting ready to blog about.To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

One of the books I picked to read this year was Timebound by Rysa Walker because it won the 2013 Amazon breakout novel award and the blurb sounded interesting.

I am noticing that first person point of view is popular in “New Adult” fiction (30ish) and Timebound follows this trend. So you are in the modern day viewpoint of a teenage girl.

TimeboundNamed after her two grandmothers, Prudence Katherine goes by the name of Kate. (What teenage girl would do otherwise?) Her mother and father are separated, but speaking to each other, when her grandmother breezes into town, announcing that she has a brain tumor and asks that Kate and her mother or father move into the home she has just bought. Kate’s mother refuses, but her father moves in. Also at the house is a male friend and employee of Katherine’s called Conner and an Irish setter called Daphne.

While moving into her new digs, Kate notices a glowing blue medallion her grandmother puts out on the counter. However, it soon becomes apparent that only she can see it’s blue glow. Touching it draws her into a strange dimension where briefly she sees a handsome dark-haired young man who calls out her name before she is pulled back into the kitchen and passes off the experience to her father and grandmother as a dizzy spell. But grandmother Katherine knows better.

Katherine has a serious agenda, and that is to introduce Kate to her genetic ability to time travel using the medallion in order to prevent a murder and the changing of their timeline.

Kate is not the only one in the family to have the ability. Years ago her mother’s twin sister, also named Prudence, and Kate’s grandfather were killed in a car accident…supposedly. Prudence’s body was never found.

Turns out Kate’s grandmother was born in 2282 and went on to work as a historian for an operation called CHRONOS that sent out time travelers to research certain historical facts. She becomes involved in a charismatic traveler named Saul who sees an opportunity to manipulate the organization and set up a power base through a religious movement. The company’s main operation center gets blown up, stranding all time travelers in various timelines.

In this story, the timeline that Kate travels to is the Chicago Fair in 1899 where an attempt is made on Katherine’s life that changes Kate’s current timeline.

There is some confusion as changing the past, changes the timeline and Kate’s mother vanishes and Kate finds her father in a different life with a different family. This upsets her, but the bonus is that she meets a boy named, Trey, who believes her wild story of timelines changing and helps her try to put things to right.

Life becomes dangerous as others traveling the timelines do not want her to succeed.

An adventure in 1899 at the World’s Fair is the main focus of this novel where Kate tries to figure out what she needs to do to fix things.

While this is a Young Adult novel, I did like Kate experiencing the changed timeline and some of the danger she encounters. This definitely is the first in a series as many questions still remained unanswered.

However, my daughter would like this story much better than my brother. The writing is good, but the teenage developing romance and emotions, she would like, and he, not so much.


SunwielderThat said, I think Sunwielder by D. Wallace Peach is right up his alley.

This story takes place in a land on the brink of war in a more medieval setting. Gryff Worden finds his family slaughtered in his farmyard. Mortally wounded, he stumbles upon a strange old woman who is a timekeeper. She offers him a Sunwield, a medallion that can return him to the critical choices that shape his life. He gets a “do over” as the medallion repeatedly brings back moments that determine life and death, or pivotal choices on his life’s path.

An intriguing concept of time travel shaped by the competent writing of this author makes this a book worth reading.

What if you could change certain critical moments in your life? How would it affect the rest of your life? A word in anger not said, a chance meeting missed or made that led you to finding a spouse?

And…is your life shared with a constellation of others that resonate with you through multiple timelines?

I’ve been wanting to read a book like this and now it’s here. Both books use medallions as the instrument that enables time travel, but in very different ways with very different people.

What is your favorite time travel book? I’ll pass it along to an eager brother.


Filed under Alternate Universes, award winning scifi, Best selling science fiction, Hugo winners, Portal fiction, time travel, WWII

Time travel in science fiction

IMG_0165With summer whizzing by, I’m wishing for a time travel machine that, come winter, I can revisit these current glorious days.

Time travel is a special topic of mine. My first two books deal with it, and I return to it in the current book that I’m working on called Touching Crystal.

But there are various ways you can traverse or manipulate time if you are of the Tellurian gene line in the Alysian universe.

You can go back to the Medieval past like Rowyna Grae does in  Caught in Time.

You can change timelines or events like Brand de Fyre Elitas in A Dangerous Talent for Time.

Or you could rewind time like Tempest Telluria in Touching Crystal.

I also have a Tellurian who can stop time, and one who travels to the future.

What else? Let me know if you’ve got another good way to manipulate time. See comment space below.

TimesplashIn TimeSplash by Graham Storrs, time travel starts out with underground parties called Splash parties. Splash parties come with wild music and the drug Tempus, and fans cheer on the popular  stars of time travel called Bricks. Three or so are enclosed in a cage with jump gear and oxygen helmet and to wild music, dance and drugs, they are lobbed into the past to make a “splash.”

The most popular of the Brick stars is Sniper who is psychotic and wants to shake the foundations of reality with the longest and most powerful of all lobs. He wants to test the  “Grandfather Theory” by going back in history and killing his close friend’s grandmother.

Of course things go wrong and get wild. People die.

In Storrs’s story, going back and disrupting or changing events, results in  a shake up in spacetime and throws causality in disarray, but eventually events right themselves. However, for awhile, the result is like being on acid as everything goes crazy and gets distorted. The effect varies from event to event depending on how critical or powerful the change is.

A lob lasts only so long and eventually the participants are yanked back into their original present, landing back in the cage they started in. The Bricks: Patty, Hal and Sniper return shaken from the splash and Splash parties are outlawed.

As the technology gets better and better, time splashing becomes more and more dangerous. Terrorists employ it to politically manipulate complete cities, and even countries.

The story shifts into searching for Sniper who has become a terrorist and plans a devastating splash that could change reality. What he plans is a mystery and the reader ponders all the events and people who he might target.

The story was interesting and engaging as the author shows how dangerous time travel can become. Lots of action and believable characters.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie WillisThis concept of time reasserting itself after being disrupted by time travelers is also seen in the Hugo award winning To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

Where TimeSplash is an action thriller, set in future and past Germany, Willis’s novel is a Victorian comedy that takes place in England. Her characters are sent back into the past to try to figure out what changed in order to reassert the future. However, the harder they try to fix things, the more complicated everything gets.

At one point, I fell off the lounge chair laughing at the crazy twists and turns the story took. It’s a large book, but well worth the read. Very entertaining.

TimeSplash is shorter, but action packed, and also suggests an interesting take on the effects of time travel. Both are a good read if you like time travel stories.

Graham Storrs is an Australian author that approached me with his story a while ago. TimeSplash is his debut novel and it has a sequel called True Path.True Path

A quick note. I reviewed Between Heaven and Hell by Tad Williams not long ago, and a sequel will soon be out on Amazon called Happy Hour in Hell. It will be released September 3. Bobby Dollar, or the angel Dolorial goes to Hell to rescue his demon girlfriend.

Happy Hour in Hell

It’s a chancy career move.

Enjoy the dwindling summer and let me know when or where I can order a time machine so I can get through winter.


Filed under award winning scifi, Best selling science fiction, Hugo winners, Science Fiction book review, Science fiction thriller, time travel, Uncategorized, WWII

Science Fiction Time Travel

Because I’m writing Science fiction, I’m always on the lookout for cutting edge technology or new, interesting science discoveries.IMG_0174

Right now, I’m working on a space travel adventure, Past the Event Horizon, and am keenly aware of all the difficulties traveling in space entails. It’s dangerous out there in the void.

So when I ran across an intriguing article entitled, “Using the Quantum Vacuum as a Propellant” in the Spacetimes magazine…

I went Wahoo!”  It’s the Internet, so of course, it’s all true.

But just think if we could do that…

The article begins: “Imagine if it were possible to utilize the very vacuum of space as a source of propellant. If a spacecraft needed only to provide power, and not carry propellant, what would be the possibilities? A spacecraft equipped with such a propulsion system would have a Specific Impulse (ISP) that is many orders of magnitude higher than current propulsion technology. The limiting design parameter would then be the power density of the local power source. Mission planners could design reference missions to include multiple orbits and inclinations – the latter typically requiring the higher delta-v. A mission could incorporate multiple destinations. Perhaps most importantly for space exploration, transit times could be drastically reduced.”

It states that scaling to power levels specific to human flight will enable one year transit time to Jupiter.

That’s quite a time saver.

Okay, I don’t pretend to understand the math or the science that follows in the article, but what a neat idea for using in a starship story. Not only are transit times impossible in space, the nearest gas station is a bit far if you run out of fuel. What if you could use the vacuum of space to keep you going. Or say, dark matter? Hmmm.

Just a thought.

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I wanted to also highlight some self-publishing authors, in addition to the well known ones that always appear on the lists publishers make. I got a lot of authors who touted their own book and wanted a mention.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had to do the same, but I’m looking for an e-book that you as a reader have read and think it should be mentioned because it is just that good. Authors tend to have a bias about their own work. I certainly do. Ask me, they’re great!

The big traditional publishing houses have well worn tracks of marketing and long established connections in the industry, but the new Indie author is totally confused about how to get his book noticed.

I know because I’m one.

So here’s an Indie review for a book you might just like.

The Kronos Interference by Edward Miller and J.B. Manas

Time travel has always intrigued me. It’s what I write about. It asks: What if you could go back in time? What would you do?

That is one of the questions Jacob Newman faces when he is called in on a top secret mission to an alien ship deep in the ocean and he discovers a globe that allows him to time travel.

Jacob is a high level scientist who comes with a difficult past. When he suspects the alien globe will take him back in time, he knows what he wants to do. He wants to save millions from dying…by killing Hitler…

Oh no, another holocaust story, and haven’t we had enough of those?

But wait, let me read a little further because the writing is good. No grammar, spelling or awkward phrases to throw me out of the story. The sentences flow and disappear into a developing plot.

And the main character feels real. He leaves his wife dying with cancer to answer the call of a national emergency, but not without angst. “Be back soon, honey. Got to change the world.”

He carries a picture of his beautiful grandmother, Anna, who died at Dacha. He wants her tortured life to be different. Did I mention that he was Jewish? Well, yes.

So I’ll read on a little more because the plot is now getting complicated and compelling. Mystery is piling upon mystery as Jacob travels to 1944 and World War II to kill Hitler, and I’m worried for him.

At my house, dinner needs to be served, laundry needs to be done, but I’ll just finish one more chapter…maybe two. Oh dear, there’s an interesting twist to the story. Aliens in time? The action is getting more exciting amidst some serious questions concerning humanity’s morality.

What? Pizza delivered an hour ago and when did it go dark outside? Laundry can be done tomorrow because right now I need to figure out what’s going on in this story, and I might as well finish this chapter, or maybe the next.

Starting with an attractive cover, professional formatting and compelling writing, I found that I couldn’t put this time travel mystery/thriller down. The story has a good balance between thrilling action and interesting character development, while posing very real philosophical questions on the advisability of tweaking time for whatever reason.

The ending draws out a bit, but then there are quite a number of ends to tie up in a delightfully complicated plot involving time travel, aliens, murder and, oh yes, Hitler, who makes a cameo appearance.

If you like time travel, I recommend this one. You won’t be able to put it down.

What’s your favorite science fiction novel? Leave a comment or e-mail me.


Filed under alien life forms, Alternate Universe Stories, Alternate Universes, Cutting Edge Science ideas, ebook science fiction, first contact, Indie authors, Indie Science Fiction Authors, science fiction, Science Fiction book review, Science Fiction Mystery, time travel, WWII

2011 Wrap Up & Recommendations

      2012 Hard to Believe. I just slid into making my goals this year, but I feel pretty good about at least making them. One was to get the first three books of the Alysian Universe published. I have finalized my part of Cosmic Entanglement and am now awaiting the proof. This exciting novel of political intrigue, forbidden romance, murder and mystery will be a great addition to my collection.

Because my focus was on editing and publishing, I did not get to read as much as I usually do. But I will give you my top ten reads of 2011.

Starting with No.#1  Name of the Wind                                                                                                   No.#2 A Wise Man’s Fears: by Patrick Rothfuss

Both of these are in the realm of fantasy, but I still enjoyed them. They tell the story of a talented young wizard who is searching to find magical power by learning how to call the wind so that he can find the mysterious and dangerous beings who killed off his family. The first book is a charming story of his struggles to get through the University of Magic while being desperately poor. The second novel continues his life after he leaves the university and encounters the Fae and other mystical beings who teach him fighting and survival skills. Great books.

No#3 Blackout  No.#4 All Clear by Connie Willis: 

Again I have a two volume author. This story is a time travel adventure of several time travelers who get stuck in WWII during London’s bombing raids. Some critics called it frenetic and muti-charactered, but I loved the energy and humor that is so Willis. As soon as a character thinks that they have everything figured out, fate/time changes things on them. So my life. I could identify. I was aways wondering what was going to happen next, and was always surprised by what did happen. Love the time travel stories.

No#5 The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Sometimes a book starts off slow, picks up steam and then you can’t get it out of your mind, even after you have finished it. The Windup Girl still haunts me. The story paints a world after genetic engineering has gone out of control and plagues and pandemics are all over the globe. Gene splicers are trying to save a dying humanity, and into this desperate mix of men wanders a genetically engineered young girl who was originally built as a pleasure model. There is desperation in survival and after she is discarded onto the streets and abused, she is forced to counter her programing of obedience and commit murder in order to defend herself. The book raises the question of how far should we should tamper with genetic modification both in plants and animals. Very thought provoking, while still having strong plot and action.

No#6 Cryoburn by Lois McMasters Bujold

They say readers usually choose authors that they like and are familiar with. Lois Bujold is one of my favorite authors and although this isn’t her best book, it was great to see Miles again and watch him in action. This ADD character is sent by Gregory, ruler of Barrayar’s Galactic Empire, to investigate sneaky plans by the planet Kibou-daini to bring their cryogenic business to Barrayar with a takeover in mind. On Kibiu-daini cryogenics is big business and millions lie slumbering in vaults underneath the surface refusing to die.  Unfortunately, this means no one inherits and those alive and running the planet are  contemplating patricide, matricide and possibly genocide. They are desperate to get control. Then Miles discovers a possible flaw in the machinery,and the men who are hiding the fact that those in the cryogenic chambers might be dying. Great action and very Miles Vorkosigan.

No.#7 Carnelians by Catherine Asaro

Here again is a favorite author who writes a series. The Emperor of the Eubian Empire, Jaibriol Qox, and the Skolian Imperator, Kelric Skolia, have finally forced a peace treaty between their two dynasties, but both sides have extremists who want things the old way with the old powers intact. The Traders of the Eubian Empire consider the Skolians beneath them and use them as slaves. The psi talented Skolians don’t trust the Traders, and with good reason. Into this shaky detente comes an explosive song that is an inflammatory response to Eubian atrocities. Jaibriol has a deadly secret that he fights to keep and control. His counterpart, Kelric Skolia is a massive gold giant that intimidates those around him, except for the ones who really know him. A song inflames both worlds and the only way the peace treaty can be saved is through a dice game .

What I like most about Asaro is her emotional resonance and the powerful ties of family that run through all her stories. She puts amazing beings in impossible situations and creates an emotional tension in the reader.

No.#8 Behemoth/Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

This is actually a young adult series, probably because the protagonists are young adults. Still, Westerfeld takes actual historical events and twists them with bits of fiction. The book has overtones of steampunk, as the action takes place at the start of WWI. The Ottoman or German Empire is called the Clankers because their economy is built on mechanical constructs. Their weapons of war are huge metal robots. The European nations are called the Darwinians because their ships and planes are genetically engineered from living creatures. A floating Leviathan created from the DNA of  a whale crashes into the Alps where a young prince has run to hide after his parents were brutally assassinated. By trying to save him, he befriends what he thinks is a young boy his age, but the boy is secretly a girl who is hiding her gender in order to join the military and fly the big ships like her father did. Their adventures touch on historical truth and then veer off into fantastical events and creatures. It all makes for a fun read.

No.#9 A Dance with Dragons by George R R Martin

Okay, okay. I threw the book across the room. How can I not list a book that arouses so much emotion in me? Martin isn’t following the rules of story telling, but his stories are hard to put down. I did read the whole book…in two days. So that must say something. I’m still mad at George Martin. This is the most recent book in a series that has been turned into an amazing HBO special and part two will be coming out in April. The series is called “Game of Thrones” and that is what the books are about…the fight for power and the throne. Just let me say that it gets down and dirty. So if you have the stomach and like your action and characters “real”, then this might be for you.

No#10 Fledgling, Saltation, Mouse and Dragon by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee

I have always liked the Liaden Universe Series. It is Space Opera that has emotions and adventure. These three are about Theo Waitley, awkward scholar and young girl who slowly discovers her talent for being a pilot of a space ship and her secret genetic heritage. “Fledgling” is the story of her awkward early days on an academic planet. “Saltation” where she trains to be a space pilot and “Mouse and Dragon” where she discovers her true family and the secret of the man she always called “father”. “Ghost Ship”, just out continues her story.

Easy to read, with adventure and good characters, I have enjoyed all the many books written by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Oh, and yes, another goal was that I lost over 12 lbs. Yeah. See the new photo? Now on to 2012. Happy New Year and may this be the best ever for all of us. Keep reading and writing.


Filed under cryogenetics, gene modification, genetic manipulation, magic, military, military science fiction, modifying humans, science fiction, Uncategorized, war, WWII