Monday, November 14, 2011
Book Review: The Time Hoppers
The book isn't, as one might judge from the title, about people having adventures in time. It's actually about a bureaucrat in a rather miserable future that has been given the unenviable task of stopping people from fleeing into the past.
The whole of society is broken up into different levels. Not castes. In castes there's no ability to move to a different casts. In this world you can work your way up or get demoted back down. And your level determines what job you have and what living arrangements you suffer through. But there aren't enough jobs to go around. Still, you do get an allowance of food, bathing water, clean air, and a bit of spending money even if you're unemployed. If the government controls all the jobs and who gets the jobs then it's not really your fault if you're not employed. With this in mind, can you blame people for wanting to jump back to a time between the 1970s and 2100s?
Back then a bunch of people showed up and were questioned by authorities. Some gave their proper names and when they came from. Others didn't. But all that was several hundred years ago. Now people have started vanishing. The people at level 1 want it stopped. More precisely, they want the person sending people back stopped so they can take over the time travel equipment. But an investigation into the known jumpers who haven't left yet could cause a paradox that would alter history and removed those currently in power.
Our main character (Quellen) is a level 7 government employee. Not really powerful, but someone with a good job and a position of some responsibility. He no longer has roommates, but his 10 ft x 10 ft apartment isn't exactly the good life. So he's managed to get himself a not at all legal plot of land in Africa as a getaway. His underling knows and has been blackmailing Quellen. And he has the job of finding the time machine and it's operator without disrupting hundreds, if not thousands, of years of history.
It's a fairly short book and an easy read. It's good, but not great. If you're a science fiction reader then I suggest you grab a copy if you see one.
Posted by Ibid at 12:37 PM