Mammoth

{4.5/5} “‘I also heard you’re trying to clone a mammoth. Anyway, knowing just those things about you, I asked myself what a man like you would want from a man like me. You offer me a fine meal’ — Matt gestured with his hamburger — ‘and then you casually ask if I believe time travel is possible. The conclusion I draw is that you may want me to make you a time machine and get you a mammoth. It’s wild, but it’s all I can think of. Now tell me where I went wrong.'”

Howard Christian is a billionaire. He’s managed to acquire a mammoth that’s been frozen in ice for 12 000 years, and he intends to clone it. There was something else frozen in the ice with the mammoth — a man with a watch and a briefcase. Christian believes that the device in the briefcase is a time machine. He hires a mathematical genius to figure out how the device works. When the entire building housing the device disappears, Christian thinks that perhaps he was right.

Mammoth by John Varley was published in 2005.

Along with dinosaurs, the mammoth is one of the most iconic extinct creatures. As you’ll learn, mammoths are like elephants but they have some differences.

It’s a bit of Bones of the Earth and a bit of Jurassic Park but it goes off in its own unique direction.

In between the regular chapters are short chapters chronicling the life of a mammoth.

There is some interesting speculation about the nature of reality. There’s also some discussion about the rights of animals.

This is the first novel by Varley I’ve read — I liked it a lot, and I’ll read more.

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