Entries in time travel (2)


The Light Brigade

This novel is far darker and more brutal than I usually read, but I always make a grimdark exception for Hurley because her books are always so amazing. And like with The Stars Are Legion, this one also ends on a hopeful note that made the viscera-soaked journey worth it.

This is the brutal, hard-hitting, anti-fascist, capitalism-eviscerating, hopeful time-travelling military SF this timeline needs. Inspired by Starship Troopers (film version), the book follows military grunt Dietz through basic training and the long, impossible journey through war.

In this bleak future, soldiers are busted down into particles of light and beamed off to war. But it does not always go right. Some soldiers come back with their body parts in the wrong place. Dietz keeps coming back to the wrong time with the wrong memories.

She has to struggle through memories and events that don't make sense, trying to keep a tenuous grip on sanity while navigating the dictator corporation she belongs to. This is an excellent sci-fi thriller/mystery mash up with some time travel for fun and I'm probably going to have to read it again just to keep everything straight.

If you're already a Hurley fan, this won't disappoint. If you haven't read any of her books yet, this is a fine place to start.


Night Watch

It's been a while since I finished this book... my domain expired just before I got the chance to review this and it was a week-long ordeal to get my website back up again. Anyway, here I am and procrastinating when I should be writing for NaNoWriMo.

I don't know what it is about this book, but it hit me in the feels. We've got Vimes doing a stint as a Time Lord (albeit without a TARDIS) and that whole timey-wimey stuff always appeals to me. But there's more to it than just that.

So yes, Vimes gets swept up in a temporal disturbance the day Lady Sybil is labouring to bring their child into the world. He ends up 30 years in the past, but already things are changing and he's tasked with filling the role of his long ago mentor, keeping his young self alive so that his old self can keep having a future, and seeing to it that history does what it needs to. The history monks play a role, and it was nice to see them again.

The whole revolutionary aspect of this story is so bang on with what's going on in the world right now that it's a little creepy. Maybe Pratchett was a Time Lord. Maybe he's not dead but back in his proper timeline. Anyway, it's an excellent read and my philosopher brain and inner sci-fi nerd loved all the temporal wibbling.

This book is short on humour but long on caustic sarcasm. The humour it does contain is just confetti sprinkles to shine some light into the darkness. Often black humour. That doesn't take away from the story. Not with a topic like this. Justice. This book is about justice and doing the right thing at all costs.

And it's great to see Vimes being crafty as hell, teaching himself to be crafty as hell and not a total twerp. And it was very cool to see a young Vetinari at work. The eventual patrician got most of the really good humour scenes. And it makes me like Vetinari even more. It's amazing to see just how much he and Vimes are cut from the same cloth, even if Vimes's moral compass sways true just a little more.

Like everything in the Discworld series, it's well worth reading, but it's really not any sort of starting point. You've got to go back to the first night watch book at the very least. But I've found it helpful, giving each story another subtle layer of meaning, to read these books in the order they were written.

Anyway, Night Watch is up there as one of my favourites in the series, alongside Reaper Man.