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

Different than I expected

When I bought this book I thought I was probably getting a standard out-of-time book with shallow characters and too much action. Normally I would not buy a book like that but the idea intrigued me and I wanted to give it a try. Surprisingly this was not the book I expected, but something much more substantial and interesting.

10 soldiers are plucked from a convoy in Afghanistan along with their vehicles and transported 10-15,000 years in the past. They must try to survive as a group and as individuals and somehow find a way to make a life completely out of their own time. Along the way they find other groups, also plucked from their times, who are trying to do the same. What we have in this book is more of the day to day struggles, both physical and emotional, to build a working society than warfare between the groups and, given that they are in the pre-historic past rather than in someplace like historic Greece or Rome, there is little of what might be expected in a book like this with people trying to get ahead in what we think of as early civilization.

While I found the book to be interesting and became involved with the characters I was a bit surprised by the way the book ended and it is hard for me to see how there will be a sequel. Since this is listed as Book 1 of the Temporal Displacement Series (see the Kindle version of this book at Amazon) it is clear that there will be a sequel but it is hard to see how it will involve the same characters as in this book.

If you are looking for warfare, in-fighting and the clash of different groups this is probably not your book. If you are looking for an intelligent look at how people might have to struggle to survive in the far past this might be for you. It is well read and I was still involved with the events and the characters at the end of the 22 hours.
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- Mike From Mesa

Book Details

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