All Our Wrong Todays

Elan Mastai. Dutton, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-1-101-98513-7
In Mastai’s imaginative debut novel, Tom Barren’s version of 2016 is a technological utopia based on a model popularized by 1950s science fiction. There are flying cars, robot maids, jet packs, teleportation, ray guns, and space vacations. Thanks to an experimental time machine, Tom travels back to the moment this glorious future was born—the 1965 invention of the Goettreider Engine, a clean-energy source that transformed mankind. Unfortunately, Tom’s presence causes the experiment to go haywire. He disappears, and when he rematerializes he is in an alternate timeline, socially and technologically backward—in other words, our own 2016. Horrified at what he sees, Tom tries to come to terms with his new environment, which is only made bearable by a bookstore owner named Penny, with whom he promptly falls in love. In order to prove to her where he is really from, Tom is forced to track down the scientist who invented the clean-energy device. From here, the story takes several startling turns as Tom tries to make things right by using another time machine to change the future of this timeline. Mastai has fun with all the usual conventions of time travel and its many paradoxes, and the cherry on top is his dialogue, reminiscent of Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2016
Release date: 02/07/2017
Compact Disc - 978-1-5247-3470-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-5247-3468-8
Ebook - 978-1-101-98514-4
Hardcover - 978-1-101-98515-1
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-385-68684-6
Hardcover - 978-1-4104-9676-8
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