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Take Back Tomorrow Paperback – January 24, 2012
The pace of the story is quick, and the time transitions are handled well. Overall, this is a good novel, one that even readers with little interest in sci-fi might enjoy.--from Publishers Weekly. This review is of a manuscript version of this book.
My overall opinion is that this is a brilliant concept for a book and the author is an excellent writer who will deliver to the reader a fantastic story.--Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Expert Reviewer
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What makes this more fun, though, is that science fiction stories are the macguffin at the heart of the plot. SPOILER. Here, we aren't selling drugs, or fencing goods, or robbing banks. Rather, the characters are going into the future to steal science fiction stories and books and to bring them back into the past to republish as their own. So, get this, the book is really a science fiction book about science fiction books. Once you buy into the idea that traveling to the future just to steal future books is what you would do if you could time travel, (as opposed to, say, get stock tips or info to get rich gambling), then the rest of the story is easy to take.
This is especially so for sci-fi fans. The author knows the genre, especially from the 30's on, so there is a lot of name dropping about obscure, but real, magazines, serials, publishers and authors. For example, when a future thief mentions in passing a plot that he's brought back, you''ll recognize it as Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall", a story that Isaac can't write in 1941 because it's now already been written. That adds a lot of fun to the read, assuming you're a fan.
Now, the writing itself is serviceable. The main characters are appealing enough to hold your interest. There are some very nicely staged scenes and some sharp set pieces, but there is also a fair amount of more clunky narrative bridging those scenes. There is a fair amount of monologuing and a lot of scenes in which one character explains what's going on to another character. I don't mind that because it is very helpful, in both noir and time travel fiction, to have characters help the reader keep track of what's going on. I guess my point is that this isn't a "literary" or "great writing" read. It's a clever, fun, slightly goofy, time travelling Valentine to sci-fi wearing a noir costume. If that sounds at all interesting to you, by all means hop aboard.
Please note that I found this book while browsing kindleunlimited freebies. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
Eddie Royce has a dream. He wants to become a famous science fiction writer. It is 1940, at the beginning of the first Golden Age of Science fiction. Eddie has tried for a long time to write something good enough to be published. But he can't come up with any good ideas.
So he borrows some.
Eddie takes some of Shakespeare's plays and turns them into science fiction stories. And he begins to sell his stories to a pulp science fiction magazine.
Also writing for the magazine is Eddie's idol, Chester Blackwood. Eddie's writing has caught Blackwood's notice. Blackwood arranges to meet him. That's when Eddie learns that Blackwood has been borrowing plots as well. But, instead of getting his stories from long dead authors, Blackwood has found a way to travel into the future and steal stories that haven't been written yet.
Blackwood is now an incredibly successful author. And the future has been altered.
Writing in a style reminiscent of the black and white noir movies of the 30's and 40's, Levesque transports us into a time that never was. We have a private eye, some hired muscle, beautiful dames, a corrupt publisher, illicit drugs, hack writers, and time travel.
Can Eddie and his girlfriend stay one step ahead of the thugs, while they travel through time to find a future where they are both alive?
This novel was a fun read. While I read, I had visions of those old noir moves in my mind. I thought Levesque's idea of time travel was very creative.
The novel has many nods to those Golden Age authors such as Asimov and Heinlein. If you're a fan of those great science fiction authors of the Golden Age, you will enjoy this novel.
Take Back Tomorrow is a time travel story based around an Science Fiction author struggling to make it in 1940 Hollywood. Struggling to find plots he turns to the classics, borrowing somewhat heavily from Shakespeare. This gets him his first sale, and the attention of the pre eminent Science Fiction writer of his time.
Not wanting to give anything away, the characters are believable without being so complex as to see silly or overshadowing the plot. The plot is interesting and makes sense, if you accept the premise of Time Travel as its presented. The time travel itself is limited, more because of the actions of the characters rather than the science, and consistent in the story. Its more something that happens around the story, driving parts of it while the character's actions actually propel the plots.
I've read some bad time travel. Its hard to do well, but the author manages to deal with the ways the characters affect the past and future, and their own time, without succumbing to long winded explanation. If fact he doesn't explain much at all, beyond some vague musing of the characters who never understand how it all works.
While it is possible recent, low quality, stories have affected my view point I am still willing to say Take Back Tomorrow is a fun, interesting story which is well crafted and internally consistent. If I find something else from Mr Levesque I will not hesitate much before picking it up.