A Long Time Until Now

  • by Michael Z. Williamson
  • Narrated by Dennis Holland
  • 22 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Book one in a new series from the creator of the best-selling Freehold Universe series.
A military unit is thrust back into Paleolithic times with only their guns and portable hardware. Ten soldiers on convoy in Afghanistan suddenly find themselves lost in time. Somehow they arrived in Earth's Paleolithic Asia. With no idea how they arrived or how to get back, the shock of the event is severe. They discover groups of the similarly displaced: imperial Romans, Neolithic Europeans, and a small cadre of East Indian peasants.
Despite their technological advantage, the soldiers only have 10 people and know no way home. Then two more time travelers arrive from a future far beyond the present. These time travelers may have the means to get back, but they aren't giving it up. In fact they may have a treacherous agenda of their own, one that may very well lead to the death of the displaced in a harsh and dangerous era.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Different Than Expected--But an Excellent Listen !

When an author provides a prospective reader with 22 hours of book it is a sort of a offer to enter into a contract: "You invest 22 hours of your time -- and I will make it worth your while." I went into this (based on the title and reviews) thinking it would be an epic 'Small military Unit versus Historical Bad Guys Lost in Time Story." (We have had civil war units, aircraft carriers, destroyers and infantry.) But this is NOT a bang-bang-shoot-em-up story. It is the thinking person's military. I felt as though I were reading the progeny of a cross between Desmond Morris' "Naked Ape" and either "The Martian" or "Seven Eves".

That is lofty company considering the sales of those books! But this author carries it off, albeit somewhat slowly. Compare a police procedural mystery to a cop show with car chases -- this is an 'military-anthropological procedural'. (Some reviewers have characterized "The Martian" as an engineer's recounting of the practical problems with being stranded on Mars, mixed with the single-character study of the psyche of that engineer. This is the "how to" guide to showing up 11,000 years ago matched with a study of small group dynamics.)

It is fascinating. The author clearly knows the real military, weapons and how to write. The surprise is the degree of scholarship beyond things military. It is a little gritty in day-to-day human functions...but there is nothing gratuitous. Also, the narrator is really excellent -- almost worth the listen himself. I'm doing something rare....I highly recommended this book and expect that it may become a one of those you will remember for a long time.

One final note. At least one reviewer felt that the narrative lacked pointers that would indicate which character was talking. As a paper book that might be a problem. For me, this is one of the first books that was written to be listened to. No constant "he said" or "Mike exclaimed." It added a great deal to the experience for me.
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- C. Hartmann "Sci-fi, History, Police Procedurals and Science"

Must Have Bacon!

When the commanding officer starts crying seconds after realizing he and his troops aren't on a road in the Afghan war zone any more but in some other time/place, I thought this was going to be an awful listen. Actually, his reaction is described as weeping. That seemed like a very strange reaction just a few MOMENTS into the event. Confusion, fear, disorientation I can understand but weeping? Emotions are not handled very well throughout the story. Combat soldiers weeping and giggling at things that aren't that sad or funny, just seemed odd to me.

Another negative and a warning to those who may be sensitive, there is no PC here. Views on Christianity, women, different cultures, race, sex etc. are handled clumsily. Still, I would recommend the listen. A lot of research went into the details of building a viable, defensible 'village' thousands of years in the past with only the items in two military Humvees and ten soldiers. The story really gets interesting when soldiers from other eras start show up.

So, pros: well researched, detailed, some humor, fascinating premise.
The cons: offends just about every group out there and has one dimensional characters you rooted for only as part of the larger military unit. Recommended for fans of time-travel or post-apocalypse-type fiction.
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- Kim Venatries "There are few things better than a good story well told!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-02-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios