The Accidental Time Machine

{4.5/5} “So it was a time machine, if kind of a useless one. Unless you could find a way to reverse it — go up fifteen years and come back with the day’s stock quotations. Or a list of who had won the World Series every year in between. But simply putting yourself in the future, well, you could do that by just standing around.”

Matt Fuller has accidentally created a time machine. Since he’s a scientist, he studies it carefully — figuring out that each time he presses the button anything that’s attached to the time machine disappears for a longer and longer time. He sends a turtle and it returns alive, so he sends himself — into the future. He finds that some time periods in the future are easier to get along in than others. How far into the future will he go, and will he ever make it back to his own time?

The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman was published in 2007.

It turns out there are lots of interesting stories to be told with a time travel theme. This story has the same general structure as H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine from over a hundred years ago — but all of the details are different.

In one era Matt finds himself in things have regressed and religion has taken over, and in another an AI has taken over allowing humans to spend their time in leisurely pursuits.

You’ll be eagerly anticipating what kind of society Matt finds himself in next.

It’s a quick read, but a worthwhile one. Haldeman’s writing style, like John Scalzi’s, is very smooth.

I’ve read several other books by Haldeman — The Forever War, Forever Peace, Forever Free, and his Star Trek novel World Without End.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 at 5:13 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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