- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (February 6, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399167501
- ISBN-13: 978-0399167508
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 100 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Gone World Hardcover – February 6, 2018
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“The Gone World has already created quite a stir. . . . The book probes questions about consciousness and crime that call to mind, among others, True Detective and 12 Monkeys.”—EW.com
"I like to be freaked out and mystified simultaneously. The Gone World, a gory time-travel thriller, does both in surprising ways....Inception meets True Detective, but it also contains elements of Solaris, Interstellar, Twin Peaks, Minority Report, and even Stargate. To all this, it adds some innovative time-travel shenanigans."--The New Yorker "Page-Turner"
“The Gone World will horrify and fascinate readers in equal measure. It is also a primer on cutting-edge theories about time travel and astrophysics...Prepare to be dazzled.”—Pittsburg Post-Gazette
“This is big-idea fiction that defies genre in the best possible way. Epic and mind-bending in scope, it carries the reader through on beautifully rendered, human moments.”—Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy
“Time travel is a classic science fiction plot element, but it’s rarely used so well as in Tom Sweterlitsch’s The Gone World… Proof that superb world building isn’t only the domain of extensive series.”--The A.V. Club, "Best Books of 2018"
“In a word: Whoa! Edge-of-your-seat crime fiction that bends both time and mind.”—Sylvain Neuvel, author of Sleeping Giants
“The Gone World … is going to blow readers away. . . .[Sweterlitsch’s] ingenious apocalyptic thriller weaves a spell of rapture within each carefully composed page burnished with shimmering prose.” —Syfy Wire
"A complicated, dazzling novel that keeps the reader hooked until the last pages… In many ways, it feels like it blends the supernatural and cosmic elements from True Detective, and the alternate universe elements of Fringe.” —The Verge
“Another visionary blend of science fiction and mystery.”—Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“As if [The Gone World did not have] a thrilling enough premise, Sweterlitsch stirs an intriguing end-of-the-world scenario into the mix... How the murder inquiry and the enigma of the terminal event are linked is just one of the many enjoyable aspects of this dark, page-turning SF thriller; another is the character of Moss... She is a resilient, vulnerable, and likable protagonist.” —The Guardian
“A fascinating blend that doesn’t skimp on the criminal investigation or the [sci fi]...Describing much more than [the] simple setup would rob the reader of the trippy experience of navigating the time-travel intricacies of this nail-biting speculative thriller.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Sweterlitsch has crafted a powerful and compelling protagonist in Shannon Moss. . . The Gone World displays the mesmerizing power of rich speculative fiction, which drives the investigation forward (and backward) in time. Transporting readers to increasingly hostile timelines, Sweterlitsch delivers visceral and unflinching action in this dynamic merger of murder mystery and futuristic vision.” —BookPage
“A mind-blowing fusion of science fiction, thriller, existential horror, and apocalyptic fiction...The power of this novel is two-fold: Sweterlitsch’s intricately plotted storyline will keep readers on the edges of their seats until the very last pages, and his extended use of bleak imagery coupled with his lyrical writing style make for an intense and unforgettable read.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Sweterlitsch offers a highly engaging—and deeply human—story informed by hard science and a refreshing sensitivity to trauma and disability. . .The Gone World is as unsettling as it is unforgettable.” —ShelfAwareness
"Billed as Inception meets True Detective, this scifi thriller follows a secret agent within the NCIS as she investigates a strange murder and a related missing-person case that ... could possibly bring about the end of life as we know it." —Io9
“An engrossing literary mashup of crime fiction and mind-blowing science fiction. . . There is endless invention in this novel. Sweterlitsch touches upon alternate realities, time travel, advanced technologies, and even Philip K. Dick-inspired notions of pre-crime warrants. . . This is marvelous stuff! . . . Highly recommended.”—The Missourian
“Sweterlitsch follows his futuristic, cyberpunk thriller Tomorrow and Tomorrow with a complex mystery involving time travel, alternate possibilities, murder, terrorism, and one woman’s determination to prevent the end of time. . . For hard-core science-fiction fans.” —Booklist
“Amazing. . . combines science fiction and thriller with classic crime noir, time travel, existentialism, philosophy, religion and end-of-the-world scenarios, all strung together in the style of the best literary fiction you will find out there today....Tom Sweterlitsch has created an all-time original story that is both genre-breaking and trendsetting.”—Bookreporter.com
“At once futuristic, nightmarish and hard-boiled. Once again Sweterlitsch takes readers to another world and back again. Take the trip.”—Stewart O'Nan
“Compelling...The multiple futures and the contemporary setting showcase world-building at its finest, while the characterizations are thought provoking and grittily realistic...A page-turner from beginning to end!”—RT Book Reviews
“[An] investigation into the gruesome murder of a Navy SEAL’s family takes some science fictional turns. . . Sweterlitsch juggles all of these balls masterfully. His Moss feels fully realized and the plot is propulsive.” —Locus Magazine
“Thought-provoking and entertaining in equal measure. The way the future is presented, as one possibility of many, is good, solid theory and the author describes it in remarkable clarity. . . The character of Moss shines through.” —SF Book Reviews
About the Author
Tom Sweterlitsch is the author of The Gone World and Tomorrow and Tomorrow. He has a Master's Degree in Literary and Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon and worked for twelve years at the Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and daughter.
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I wanted to like this a lot more, but I just can't abide a book that feels rushed at the end. This seems to be happening more these days. The reader deserves a much better, more natural, and well-thought-out payoff than Swterlitsch provides. The pace at the end convolutes what could have been a clearer resolution, and the epilogue is nonsensically tossed in, though I know what Sweterlitsch was trying to convey.
All in all, be prepared for a disappointing payoff to a promising journey.
I feel that this book was most enjoyable for the different sci-fi concepts it explores: time-travel to the future but with only one true "present," aging outside of normal time, flexible future timelines, and an impending doomsday that inexplicably keeps creeping closer to the present. Also for the "we dug too deep" plot trope, which I'm a fan of.
To be honest, I found these ideas to be more intriguing than the criminal caper that plays out in the foreground of the plot, which is interesting but flows a bit unevenly at many points. You know when you read about book and you wanna tell the protagonist "Why are you doing that when any reasonable person would do this??" Many of those moments.
Still, I feel that it came to an appropriate conclusion, and the final sorta-twist isn't so predictable although it's hinted at. Epilogue a bit maudlin.
Overall I'd recommend if any of the above concepts interest you
Shannon Moss is a highly specialized Navy investigator who's been to the far future (2199 perhaps) called Deep Time and to Deep Space, as well as to seven IFTs (inadmissible future trajectories) of possible and wondrous technologically advanced quantum versions of 2015 and 2016 to help solve inexplicable murders in what's called terra firma in 1997 (her real time and place). She discovers extensive fractures and paths in space and time with a locus in a state park in West Virginia, and some versions of people connected to her cases. And on top of that the Terminus dooms humankind, unless it can be .stopped.
Moss has already lost a leg to an impossible future and now must wear a prosthetic limb, but she fights on against multiple realities and injuries, and neither she nor the reader can guess what will happen next, not with IFTs, Deep Space, Deep Time, QNT (quantum nanoparticle tunneling), terrorist attacks, and the Terminus.
Therefore, if you like slightly spooky SF, THE GONE WORLD is for you and stop reading NOW because the rest of the review is for those who've finished the novel and, perhaps in an IFT, for the author himself.
Some reviewers found parts of the novel tedious or perhaps disliked some of the description. Okay, but the novel lost very little from those parts. It's still a first-rate SF novel--giving it fewer than 5 stars is silly.
However, I have one quibble. Part Five goes into detail about Moss's getting a new prosthetic leg and the story character and process that made it possible--and she cannot get an advanced replacement, but must settle for a 3R60 (old mechanical). But we already know about her many struggles with the prosthetic leg and even the adventure in the future making amputation necessary. Why go over the same ground in detail? If any of this new info is important, it can be inserted with the original description. Yes, she lost her advanced electronically sophisticated leg at the end of Part Four, but she had a clear opportunity to get an even more advanced leg after one of her echoes was brutally murdered. A slight rewrite could have given Moss the better, not the worse, prosthetic leg. Why not? Too easy?.
Impossible to put down!! Yes really, it's *that* good! I usually don't care for time travel tales as they usually seem to fall all over themselves with contradictory plot and storylines. No so this one! Also, it's compelling murder mystery, and solving it takes to the edge of space and time, and brings back some unimaginable evil.
The bad guys are very bad, but they are trying to stave off the extinction of Earth. Which they sort of, basically helped to create. The good guys are good, except when thy are bad, and our hero just never quits. No matter when she is busy getting the crap beaten out of her, or even when she finds herself in a lovely triste.
Anyway, you literally will not put this down until you finish, so pick it up now!
READ IT! You'll not be sorry!