Saturday, November 12, 2011

Timesplash by Graham Storrs

Timesplash by Graham Storrs
Genre: Time travel science fiction
Length: 9h 11m
Read by: Emma Newman
Audio publisher: Iambik Audio, 2011
From: Purchased

Story: In 2050, time travel is possible but illegal. That doesn't stop the extreme thrill-seekers who risk their lives for excitement and fame. If these "bricks" create a large enough paradox back in history, then when time self-corrects, it will be magnified through to the present, creating a "splash." The timesplashers are now taking things too far, creating bigger and bigger splashes. They're starting to kill people, even destroy cities, and must be stopped.

Thoughts: I find many time travel stories are overly concerned with paradoxes. I tune out whenever there are long explanations of things that might go wrong. I prefer characters to test their theories or just say "I don't know" get to their task in the past. In Timesplash, the time travelers have no idea how time travel works, and they don't care. That's what the techs worry about. Luckily, paradoxes are not possible. Time self-corrects, so it doesn't matter what timesplashers do in the past. They can't affect history. All they can affect is the present, and that's when problems arise.

Timesplash is a great near-future adventure story with two young protagonists who have to overcome their earlier traumatic experiences with timesplashing to try and stop widespread destruction. Sandra especially is an excellent character who starts off as a child in over her head and grows into a fiercely intelligent young woman who gets things done regardless of her fears or others' objections. Of course, I loved the shout outs to Star Wars and Doctor Who, even if the idea that teenagers will still be quoting these (or know who Patty Hearst is) in 2050 stretched my credulity a little. Unfortunately, it seems that all bad guys in the books I read lately are insane, so my one quibble is a personal preference for a more sane and functional bad guy. But then maybe he would have gotten away with it.

Reading: Emma Newman has a breathy, young-sounding voice that fits perfectly with the first female point-of-view character. Instead of acting out the story with different voices for the characters, Ms. Newman reads the book in her strong, clear accent. This worked quite well for most of the story. However, some of the passages with dialogue were difficult for me to follow since it was unclear who was saying each line.

Final thoughts: If you like cream crackers and sardines for breakfast (I remember eating this) or, more likely, if you like edgy time travel stories with a new view of time and lots of adventure, then try this one out.

Grade: 4 out of 5

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