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The Reality War Book1: The Slough of Despond [Kindle Edition]

Tim C. Taylor
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In 1992, Radlan Saravanan runs a small business out of a Tudor cottage in the sleepy English village of Elstow. But Radlan was born in 2951, and when he falls in love with a local girl, he has to choose between running from his own people and condemning his lover to die.

He makes the wrong choice.

Travelling into the past, falling in love... it turns out he was meant to do these things. He's been manipulated all along, but now he's slipped his handlers, and Time is no longer following the right script. Other versions of history vie for dominance, and our reality is losing.

In 1992, Radlan Saravanan sparked The Reality War.



The second and final book in the series, The City of Destruction, will be published spring 2012.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"...a mind-blowing novel...  Hollywood check this out!" -- Bookish Things

"Terse, tense and emotional, the Slough of Despond generates a cool balance between science, history and human relationship." -- The Green Porch

About the Author

Tim C. Taylor lives with his family in an old village in England called Bromham. When he was a young and impressionable lad, between 1977 and 1978, several important things happened to him all at once: 2000AD, Star Wars, Blake's 7, and Dungeons & Dragons. Consequently, he now writes science fiction.

Tim's short fiction has been published in a number of magazines, and most recently in Shoes, Ships & Cadavers and Further Conflicts, anthologies that featured classy authors such as Alan Moore, Lauren Beukes, and Dan Abnett. His ambition is that one day, Moore, Beukes, and Abnett will proudly write in their bios that they once shared an anthology with Tim C. Taylor.

It wasn't always that way. Before a series of Doctor Who novels inspired him to start writing fiction in 2002, Tim wrote first music and then software. After twenty years in the software industry, Tim took a break in 2011, setting up Greyhart Press, an eBook publisher of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. While most of his time has been spent publishing other authors, Tim found time to complete his first two novels, a series called The Reality War.

In the real world, he is husband, Dad, sometime-brewer, and oftentimes-builder of Lego constructs to his son's designs. His favorite beer is Uplift Ale, named in honor of SF author David Brin, and available exclusively from his garage.

Product Details

  • File Size: 625 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 147108728X
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Greyhart Press (February 7, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0076YJZX6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,915 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Future history, beautifully done March 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Some of you may recognize the "slough of despond" from the classic tale, "Pilgrim's Progress." The connection is just one way this time-travel, science fiction novel sets its self apart from the pack. I'm one of those sorts who loves history as well as science fiction. So Taylor's use of Elstow Abbey as one of the time traveling stations scores points with me.

The main character, Radlan, has been stationed upstream of time (the 1970's through 90's) longer than anyone else in the history of the service created to protect the timeline. Possibly too long. Thus begins the tension in the story from page one.

A love interest from the past complicates his assignment to not only protect the timeline but also protect witnesses the future government places in the past for protection. Tension in the 1990's, tension in the 2900's. You get the idea. Well, before it's all done time starts to go sideways and the result is a wild ride well worth reading.

Terse, tense and emotional, the Slough of Despond generates a cool balance between science, history and human relationship. Read it! Review it! Share it!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Yawner April 28, 2012
By Volpot
Format:Kindle Edition
I got through 50% of this book before I simply got too bored to continue.

The basic story is that in the distant future, there is a civil war going on and the world government (presumably good guys) have used a time machine to hide some witnesses for trials against the (presumably) bad guys in the year 1992. The protagonist is the station keeper from the future who lives in 1992 with the job of looking after these witnesses.

Now that fairly simple setup got me interested, but after that the book, for me, descended into a muddled and boring mess. How so?

-- The political situation in the future is never really explained. Just exactly who are the bad guys and why do they act as they do? That's a fairly basic flaw, because without an understanding of just what is going on in the future, how exactly are we to understand the behavior of all of the characters in the book?
-- We get some kind of mumbo jumbo socialist philosophy that seems to guide everyone's actions as the author keeps stressing, but everyone seems willing to abandon that same philosophy in their interpersonal relations. Again, we really don't get a picture of what is going on outside the protagonist's own thoughts.
-- This philosophy, espoused by the characters from the future and also seemingly held in favor by the author, was forced on humanity by space aliens who destroyed one city on each continent as well as the entire Australian continent (sorry, mates) as a process for allowing humanity to join their galactic nirvana. As is often the case, the purveyors of social harmony are willing to sacrifice millions to achieve their utopia. Sorry Mr. Taylor, maybe the ends justify the means in your book, but not mine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not gripping June 14, 2012
Format:Paperback
The concepts in this book are interesting and touches on some tricky questions introduced by time travel (eg: changing the past could completely change the future). It also raises questions relating to how two quite different alternate realities could be aware of each other, identify critical decision points and fight to keep them "pure" from their point of view.

That said, it's also not an easy read. It's not a flowing story nor an action paced adventure. The jumps between past/present/future and alternate realities can take a bit of getting used to. The characters are there but hard to associated with or really enjoy.

By the end of the story it is starting to come together and the impacts of various actions in the past are causing trouble for both sides in the 'war.' There's also a few soft-porn scenes that help liven it up a bit (although not all may enjoy them), but otherwise it's a book that you need to keep on top of and persevere with.

Probably not for everyone but I may just check out book 2 in the series. Maybe...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong, smart, speculative fiction November 20, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tim Taylor's Reality War #1- the Slough of Despond is a tightly scripted puzzler of a novel that follows the lives of two "men" who are destined to change not just history, but fundamental reality. The two "men" in question are Radlan Saravanan, a man from our future, and Karypsic, a member of a race of lizard-like people in a Saurian-reality that is a shadow of our own. Both Radlan and Karypsic play key roles as their two realities become intertwined and jostle for supremacy.
But these two men's struggles are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, as players from far flung futures (the most prominent being the enigmatic joker and general wildcard named Senator Greyhart) show up to influence (and undermine) events.

Taylor does a great job of juggling the technical detail of a quantum fuzziness gone mad, temporal shifts, and a fractal, jigsaw plot line- weaving a smart, complelling storyline. Although I do have to admit that, on a couple of occasions, I found myself a bit sidetracked by some of the side-plots. It could have used a little tightening here and there.

This story also examines the human side of events as both Radlin and Karypsic struggle between love, and their duty to the future of their species. For Radlan in particular, this plays out in stark detail as it soon becomes apparent that he must choose between his love for the lovely Amanda Devonshire and the safety of humanity.

Be warned however that if you prefer heroic leading men , you may be in for a bit of a let down. Radian is a passive guy and duty prone. Karypsic is domineering, possessive, and smug. Both men lean more towards the anti-hero model.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars To Slow
To slow to develop, could not get into it.
Published 23 days ago by Lawson P. Stapleton, Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars keep at it
this book was a slow starter but I finished it and have to say not to bad its got decent characters in it (maybe fleshed out a bit more would be nice) but all In all a fun read.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars "Time" should not be spent here
Don't waste your time reading this drivel. Great beginning chapter taking place in 2992, then the author takes you to 1992. Then snail pace is an exaggeration. Read more
Published 2 months ago by I read alot
1.0 out of 5 stars Yum!
It would be nice if the reader could have a rating based on sexual content. I'm not a prude, but when every other page contains explicit references for both human and animal sexual... Read more
Published 2 months ago by mrl
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh
I assume there is a over-arching theme or plot for this series but I'll be darned if I care what it is after slogging through this book.
Published 3 months ago by Watcher760
1.0 out of 5 stars Alas, I just couldn't stay with this one
I really wanted to hang in there with this book, but it was just too far off my escapist richter scale to even get into. Sorry.
Published 9 months ago by Rick Bennett
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure it was worth the time.
After I finished this book, I really felt. I'd not read a complete story. It was disjointed and very slow moving. Read more
Published 10 months ago by kay3k
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read!
This was an interesting and entertaining book. The characters are well-developed, the plot believable and the prose engaging. Read more
Published 22 months ago by seldombites
4.0 out of 5 stars See book 2 review
I liked the premise of the book with alternate realities. It was interesting to see how the author used Pilgrims Progress as an analogy to the story.
Published 23 months ago by Charles A Smith III
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this one
The first book of "The Reality Series". While not a fresh idea for a storyline, the writing is good and the story flows real nice. Read more
Published on January 26, 2013 by Amazon Shopper
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More About the Author

Tim C. Taylor lives with his family in an old village in England called Bromham. When he was a young and impressionable lad, between 1977 and 1978, several important things happened to him all at once: 2000AD, Star Wars, Blake's 7, and Dungeons & Dragons. Consequently, he now writes science fiction & fantasy.

It wasn't always that way. Before a series of Doctor Who novels inspired him to start writing fiction in 2002, Tim wrote first music and then software. After twenty years in the software industry, Tim took a break in 2011, setting up Greyhart Press, a publisher of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. While most of his time has been spent publishing other authors, Tim found time to complete his first two novels, a series called The Reality War, published February 2012. He started releasing a sister series of military SF novels called The Human Legion during Christmas 2014. They seem to be doing rather well. When no one's looking, he also writes YA fantasy and science fiction short stories under the secret penname of Crustias Scattermush.

In the real world, he is husband, Dad, sometime-brewer, and oftentimes-builder of Lego constructs to his son's designs. His favourite beer is Uplift Ale, named in honor of SF author David Brin, and available exclusively from his garage.

Find him on the web at www.timctaylor.com or on Twitter @TimCTaylor. Or for that matter, www.humanlegion.com or @TheHumanLegion

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