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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Staff Book Review: The Time Traveler's Almanac 3/2014

In this amazing tome, editors Ann and Jeff Vandermeer present a broad survey covering time travel across its literary development from the 1880’s to the present. The anthology starts with a delightful essay on the Top Ten Tips for Time Travelers by Charles Yu. It sets-up ones’ expectations: be open to varied scenarios and to forget about the so-called rules of time travel. The book is then divided into four sections: Experiments; Reactionaries and Revolutionaries; Mazes and Traps; and Communiques. Each section wraps up with an educational, non-fiction gem.  All bets are off: go back and visit yourself to give advice; don’t worry about killing your grandfather before you were born; and certainly set yourself up to win the lottery.  Accept the logic of time travel in each story as it is, and enjoy the ride.

VERDICT: Completely satisfying; the almanac will appeal on some level to every science fiction reader. Although these stories were written over time, from the first time travel story ever published, The Clock That Went Backward (1881) by Edward Page Mitchell to Thirty Seconds From Now (2011) by John Chu, they each prove timeless.  

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