IN TIMES LIKE THESE by Nathan Van Coops

times-like-theseHow do you stand on time travel stories?  Me?  Usually one a year is my limit.  But in times like these, you need a good get away book, so I went for In Times Like These.

Fun book!   Five young adults, all friends,  are playing softball one typical summer evening in St. Petersburg,  Florida.  As usual, a storm comes up, and they are sitting it out on the dugout bench when lightning strikes something, a wire goes down, and it would seem they are electrocuted.   But danged if they don’t wake up ….. in 1985.  How could that happen?  Well, it seems that

the Temporal Studies Society suffered an explosion that released the gravitites into the environment around [them] by way of electricity.  That is crucial to the events, because electricity acted in this case as not only the medium in which [they] were exposed to these particles, but also the catalyst for the reaction that ensured.  the unique particles, called gravitites were sent into the environment around the lab by way of the electrical power lines.  When that power line broke free of the pole and hit the bench, it transferred not just the electricity, but the gravitites as well.

Time travel stories have to have some kind of scientific explanation that is slightly incoherent to the normal mind.  So, I would say, so far, we are right on track.  And anyway, I know you want to know more about those little gravitites.

These particles act as disruptors to the way individual cells stay anchored in time.   The cells of your body and in all the things around you have a gravity of sorts that keeps you in sync with the flow of time, stuck in the river with everything else that’s floating with you.  All of it is flowing at the same speed.

Well, so THAT explains it.  Getting out of sync with the flow of time could certainly play havoc with the framastam and your combobulator big time!  What I want to know is if these gravitites have calories.   Because, well, you know,   if you have too many gravitites, do you gain weight?  Because that, too, could explain a lot of things in my life.

I remember the 80s very well.  Big hair.  Leg warmers.  Ugly clothes.  These guys:


Turns out that a serial killer who was on his way to jail in a Sheriff’s van also ended up in this same Florida city on the exact same day!  Talk about time traveling coinkydink!  Whew!  He kills the two sheriff’s guys, leaving a very confused 1985 police force, seeing as how the van has not even been manufactured yet.

I love that the city has a Temporal Studies Society.  And a director who hops around from time to time.  The book uses quotes from his diary and they are fun.   So now the big thing for the five friends is to get back home to 2009,  but it also turns out that there are infinite time streams, little slivers of time streams, kind of like the string theory for time travel, and they do get back, but daggone, they are in the wrong time stream, and meet up with themselves, and find the one friend they left back in 1985 because he wanted to stay with his grandfather who died in his other time stream, but anyway there he is, having arrived in 2009 the hard way, by living it out, and he is now 25 years older, and is married and has kids, while his friends are still their original ages,  But the other friend they left there to keep an eye on friend one got murdered so they go back to try to find the right time stream and get that other friend unmurdered and if you think this precis is confusing, you should read the book!

Time streams branch out, infinitely, so it is a wonder that anything happens on time at all.

Like I said earlier, it really was fun, and if it makes your brain hurt a little bit, that’s all right, because that’s what reading is for….. to stretch your intellectual muscles. And also to take up time while you are sitting on the pot.

Yeah, because I want to do a lot of fast, hot, sweaty exercising with a thong up my b..... never mind.

Yeah, because I want to do a lot of fast, hot, sweaty exercising with a thong up my b….. never mind.



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