From the acclaimed author of The Information and Chaos, a mind-bending exploration of time travel: its subversive origins, its evolution in literature and science, and its influence on our understanding of time itself.
Gleick's story begins at the turn of the 20th century, with the young H. G. Wells writing and rewriting the fantastic tale that became his first book, an international sensation: The Time Machine. A host of forces were converging to transmute the human understanding of time, some philosophical and some technological - the electric telegraph, the steam railroad, the discovery of buried civilizations, and the perfection of clocks. Gleick tracks the evolution of time travel as an idea in the culture, from Marcel Proust to Doctor Who, from Woody Allen to Jorge Luis Borges. He explores the inevitable looping paradoxes and examines the porous boundary between pulp fiction and modern physics. Finally, he delves into a temporal shift that is unsettling our own moment: the instantaneous wired world, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.
"In his enthralling new book, James Gleick mounts H.G. Wells's time machine for an invigorating ride through the most baffling of the four dimensions. In these pages, time flies." (John Banville)
"James Gleick is a master historian of ideas - no one else can do what he does. Synthesis leads to elucidation leads to stunning, original insight. Time Travel, like so much of his work, is simply indispensable." (Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe)
"Magnificent. A riveting history of an idea that changed us so profoundly, we forgot we had even been changed. But Gleick remembers." (Lev Grossman, books editor of TIME and author of the Magicians trilogy)
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SF: The canary in the coal mine of time
- Adrian Hoad-Reddick, WHAT IF? Magazine
Encompasses many aspects, yet most only intros