Ultimate Time Travel
Books, Movies, TV Shows and Everything Time Travel

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I haven’t written a review for quite a while. Busy doesn’t begin to describe what I’m going through. In fact, I haven’t read a book in 3 months, which is probably the first time this has happened since I’ve been 5 years old (I read a LOT of books).


So last week, I was happy to see that a new time travel movie (sort off) came out on DVD that I haven’t seen. If I’m not reading time travel books, I may as well watch some movies.


Knowing tells the story of John Koestler, a widower and a father of Caleb. One day, in Caleb’s school, a time capsule is being opened after 50 years in the ground. In case you are not familiar with the term ‘time capsule’. A time capsule is a box that is locked for a specific amount of time. In this case, the box was locked in 1959, and was filled with letters written by children depicting how they envision what the far future would look like (2009). All in all, I think this is a pretty cool idea. My school had something like this when I was 10, we had to envision the year 2000. Feels a bit silly now, doesn’t it? None on the flying cars or robots came into being.


But I digress…


When Caleb opens his letter, he finds a single page filled with numbers. He thinks it’s some kind of a 50 year old prank and doesn’t pay too much attention to it. However, his father – who’s still recovering from the loss of his wife – and as a result is continuously losing himself to alcohol – accidentally peeks at the paper.


What he discovers is that the series of numbers is not random. In fact, it details the date of every single major catastrophe since 1959: the precise date and the number of people who died. Almost all of these events have already occurred except for three. Strangely, there is another set of numbers John can’t fathom.


John becomes obsessed with trying to prevent these last three events from occurring. After the first one occurs right on top of him (yet he manages to survive), he solves out another piece of the puzzle: the last set of numbers is coordinates that define where the event is going to happen.


Armed with this knowledge, he tries to prevent the next catastrophe. I won’t say how this turned out, but I will say that the next – and the last – catastrophe didn’t have any coordinates at all.


Before we started watching with movie I told my wife that based on the trailer I think it’s going to be a somewhat unusual time travel movie. I’m not sure what made me think so, something in it just seemed out of place (and trust me, I know my time travel stories). I was right. Although a large portion of the movie deals with future knowledge and how to prevent it, there is a second story taking place. I don’t want to spoil the movie by revealing what it is about, I’ll just say that it was rather bizarre – and made the movie much less predictable than a Hollywood movie should have been.


All in all, I thought Knowing was a decent film. The only disadvantage – which unfortunately was not too minor – is that it felt the authors were trying to cram two stories into one. The first with the time travel aspect, and the second, with the story elements I have not discussed. As a result, the movie turned out completely unpredictable (the best types of movie for me), however, it was also quite unfocused, and some parts of the plot simply didn’t make any sense. It’s almost like two voices were competing for attention, and in the end some compromise took place (which I’m guessing is what really happened: the studios combine two stories into one).


If you have nothing to do and want to watch a spooky, unpredictable thriller with some time travel elements – go for it. If that’s not your thing, it might be ideal to skip this one.


P.S. I know I haven’t written much (or anything) lately. I still care about this site, but have less time than I ever had. At some point it will resume full activity in one form or another (either I will do it, or will get someone to help me – any volunteers?).


To get Knowing from Amazon click here.




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Classification: Anthology


One of the things that always appealed to me with science fiction novels is the ’sense of wonder’ one gets when the book is really good. I’m not sure why, but modern science fiction isn’t able to achieve this often. It’s something I really miss. Consequently, I was (very) pleasantly surprised when Cronos was able to capture this long lost feeling – and not only once, but three times!


Letters from Atlantis
Ranking: 4 Stars
The first story introduces the reader to Roy, who is sent 20,000 years back in time. However, Roy does not travel physically – only his mind makes the journey. Upon getting to the past he finds himself inside the mind of the prince of Atlantis (which hasn’t been destroyed yet) – and what he sees greatly surprises him… I’m not going to reveal any of the plot, just that it’s a good story – even though it’s my least favorite of the three.


Project Pendulum
Ranking: 5 Stars
The second story is definitely my favorite. It tells the story of twin brothers who are sent to a journey through time. But there’s a caveat: since matter has to be preserved, whenever one is in the future, the other must be exactly in the same ‘temporal distance’ away in the past (So, for example, when the first brother is 50 years in the future, the other brother is 50 years in the past). Furthermore, as a result of time travel physics, each time they travel, the length of their journey increases tenfold. Meaning, the first brother is sent 5 minutes forward, when the second brother is sent 5 minutes backward, and then the first brother goes 50 minutes forward, and so on: 500 minutes, 5000 minutes, 50,000 minutes, etc. This interval reaches 90 million years in the future and in the past, which is when their journey ends.


As you can imagine, since the brothers explore a wide variety of timelines, every jump is a story of its own. Robert Silverberg really managed to do this well – he kept every jump interesting while still not repeating himself. Fantastic story.


The Time Hoppers
Ranking: 5 Stars
The third story has a distinct Asimovian feel to it. If you liked Isaac Asimov’s “The End of Enternity” you will definitely love this story. The story introduces Quellen – a lowly crime investigator living in the 25th century. Apparently, the 25th century turns into quite a dystopia. Too many people and too few jobs cause most people to live unemployed and in quite bad conditions. Many have found that the best way to escape this is to jump into the past. However, the government isn’t all too happy about this, so assigns Quellen to investigate how this is accomplished and put a stop to this.


To summarize: Three excellent stories which capture the wonder of Sci-Fi. All quite different, but all good – I recommend this book to all time travel lovers, and even if you’re not really a fan of this sub-genre, you will still probably like these stories.


Link to the book on Amazon.com


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Time Travel Movies