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A Girl in Time Kindle Edition
|Length: 353 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I went and reviewed a few other reviews and felt further comment was appropriate. Someone said Sliders, and I realized that Sliders was a better description than time tunnel (shows my age). Some people got upset or delighted over the spoiler about Trump. I thought it was neat that such a modern time situation was brought in. I thought the idea was barely touched upon so that neither the left nor the right should have gotten upset. There was the feeling that either Cady left before the election or something different had happened in her time. The prospect actually motivated me to read further. I saw all sorts of problems or errors such as an archeologists finding old spent .45 cartridges in ancient Roman artifacts. I got a little lost on Iphones in that we left with three and came back with one? What about the locator collar? Anybody who thinks Trump could build a fascist state in the United States in two short years doesn't know the ponderous slowness of our bureacracy. I didn't see Birmingham picking sides. He was just building an alternate future universe where Australians speak Australie, and he had his characters trying to make do under the situation. Bottom line. It was just a story, and a flimsy one at that. It was still a fun reading with adventure and excitement in the mix. I went ahead and suspended credibility to read it, and I enjoyed myself.
This buys all the fun of jumping around in time with none of the plot confusion about why they don't just jump right back and fix their mistakes.
The book has an unintended horror element, though, at least to a liberal. One of the clues that Cady picks up on for why they did not move into her own future is that Trump won the election, which she assures Smith could not possibly have happened. (And it is not really a spoiler to say that she is right; they have not moved into our own future, unless someone forgot to tell me that France settled Australia.)
Well, surprise. I am guessing Birmingham was also assuming Trump would have lost. The Trumpworld he paints is a grim dystopia sure to outrage American conservatives, who can I suppose reconcile any cognitive dissonance they may feel by remembering that it is a similar world to ours but not our world. For an Amercian liberal, reading this book the week before the inauguration, this book is an apalling exploration of our worst fears.
From a scifi point of view, Birmingham offers clues about the underlying physics, and he is a serious enough writer that I trust he will eventually explain some otherwise bizarre choices (how do two realities diverge far enough back for the French to settle Australia yet have the same people living in 2019 with the same phone numbers as the other reality? JB is way too experienced a scifi writer to just ignore the butterfly effect; this will surely be rationalized). But the protagonists don't figure it out in this book, so we'll have to wait. To that extent, any review of this book is incomplete until we reach the end of the series and see if he pays off the things he has set up here. But I will happily be along for the ride.