I admit it, I’m a sucker for time travel books (this should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been following the blog or talking to me on the Circulation Desk), and I’m delighted to announce we have a doozy of a time travel book coming to the Field Library on February 7.
It’s called All Our Wrong Todays, by Elan Mastai, and it takes place in 2016. Well, actually, it takes place in two different 2016’s, and thereby hangs a tale.
In what our protagonist, Tom Barren, believes to be the “normal” world, 2016 looks a lot like the ideal future people were envisioning in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Flying cars? We have them. Moon bases where people live? Yup. Moving sidewalks? All over the place. All that wonderful, optimistic thinking about technology and human progress has come true and the world in 2016 is a fascinating place, except that Tom can’t seem to find his bearings there. He knows he should be happy but somehow this world just doesn’t seem to work for him.
And then comes a time travel accident which sends him into OUR 2016, and throws the whole flow of the universe out of whack. To someone from Tom’s version of 2016, our world is horrifying, a dystopian wreck, a nightmare.
At least at first it seems that way to him. But then Tom discovers what the alternate Tom, the one living in this 2016, is like and how his life is different, and maybe better. His family, his career, maybe even his soul mate, are all wonderfully strange and appealing in this version of reality, and he finds himself liking aspects of our “dystopian” world.
Of course the dilemma then is whether he should try to fix reality and bring back the utopian 2016 he came from, or whether he should let the universe alone and try to make a life for himself in this reality. As dilemmas to carry a novel go, this is one of the more intriguing ones, and I, for one, want to see the other 2016 and see how Tom resolves his dilemma.