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All Our Wrong Todays
     

All Our Wrong Todays

by Elan Mastai
 

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“A novel about time travel has no right to be this engaging. A novel this engaging has no right to be this smart. And a novel this smart has no right to be this funny. Or insightful. Or immersive. Basically, this novel has no right to exist.” —Jonathan Tropper, New York Times bestselling author of This

Overview

“A novel about time travel has no right to be this engaging. A novel this engaging has no right to be this smart. And a novel this smart has no right to be this funny. Or insightful. Or immersive. Basically, this novel has no right to exist.” —Jonathan Tropper, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You and One Last Thing Before I Go

“Out of this world.” Associated Press

"A page-turning delight." Maria Semple, author of Today Will Be Different and Where’d You Go, Bernadette

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed...because it wasn’t necessary.

Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.

All Our Wrong Todays is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into over time. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/14/2016
In Mastai’s imaginative debut novel, Tom Barren’s version of 2016 is a technological utopia based on a model popularized by 1950s science fiction. There are flying cars, robot maids, jet packs, teleportation, ray guns, and space vacations. Thanks to an experimental time machine, Tom travels back to the moment this glorious future was born—the 1965 invention of the Goettreider Engine, a clean-energy source that transformed mankind. Unfortunately, Tom’s presence causes the experiment to go haywire. He disappears, and when he rematerializes he is in an alternate timeline, socially and technologically backward—in other words, our own 2016. Horrified at what he sees, Tom tries to come to terms with his new environment, which is only made bearable by a bookstore owner named Penny, with whom he promptly falls in love. In order to prove to her where he is really from, Tom is forced to track down the scientist who invented the clean-energy device. From here, the story takes several startling turns as Tom tries to make things right by using another time machine to change the future of this timeline. Mastai has fun with all the usual conventions of time travel and its many paradoxes, and the cherry on top is his dialogue, reminiscent of Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (Feb.)
3.5/4 stars - USA Today
Instantly engaging... a timeless, if mind-bending, story about the journeys we take, populated by friends, family, lovers and others, that show us who we might be, could be — and maybe never should be — that eventually leads us to who we are.
Tom Shippey - Wall Street Journal
Mr. Mastai's model, openly acknowledged, is Kurt Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle," with its short chapters and snappy punchlines. He has caught the tone very well: a narrative voice at once wise and naïve, indignant and resigned, flip and deeply sad.
From the Publisher
Praise for All Our Wrong Todays

“Entertainingly mixes thrills and humor.” Entertainment Weekly

“[An] amazing debut novel... Dazzling and complex... Fearlessly funny storytelling... In the alternative reality of our own day when many long for the chance to turn back time, some solace might be found in the masochistic pleasures of this trippy and ultimately touching novel.” Washington Post

All Our Wrong Todays is an incredibly creative work. It’s as if Mastai time traveled and took copious notes of what a future utopian world would be. The science is as engaging as the romance. Mastai has mastered the art of endearing himself to an audience through both knowledge and entertainment. It’s definitely out of this world — or an alternate universe.” —The Associated Press

“Shades of sci-fi, but also an endearing comedy about family and friendship.” New York Post

“[All Our Wrong Todays] earns the case it makes for the messiness, heartbreak and imperfections of our world, and in doing so helped reconnect me to my fellow humans, whom, at the moment, I find inscrutable and frightening in equal measure.” —Ron Currie, Chicago Tribune

“A time-travel tale that works. . . . A multiverse trans-timeline love story… All storytelling is time travel, but not all time travel stories are worth telling, and though I don't have the word count to properly place All Our Wrong Days in the pantheon of chrono adventures (somewhere between Voyagers! and Ken Grimwood's Replay), it more than deserves to be on readers' shelves in any timeline.” Dallas Morning News

“All Our Wrongs Today belongs in a burgeoning genre of books like Andy Weir’s The Martian that wrap self-deprecating dad humor around unabashedly nerdy science. . . . Refreshing." GQ.com

“You don’t have to be a sci-fi fan to become totally enthralled with this fresh, time-travel novel by screenwriter Mastai… an utterly clever, entertaining love story.” —RealSimple.com

“On top of this brilliant philosophical premise of parallel versions of one’s life and the people in it—of what might have been had history unfolded different—Mastai’s language is also rife with an infectious humor you won’t be able to stop reading.” —HarpersBazaar.com

“All Our Wrong Todays is the mind-bending science fiction romance you need to read.” —Mashable

"Witty, thoughtful, and entertaining." Houston Chronicle

“Brilliant... All Our Wrong Todays is a stunning work that adeptly broadens the sci-fi genre by giving these faces true believability.” —Electric Review

"This is a science fiction love story that is by turns funny and wistful and smart, while remaining fully invested in how being human feels. Mastai has a sure hand with all of the elements of storytelling… Mastai’s jaunty prose is essential to the vibrant and engaging story.” Locus Magazine

“Mastai creates a fascinating tapestry of interconnected alternate realities....A potent mixture of sincere introspection and a riveting examination of time travel and alternate realities, this highly recommended novel is reminiscent of Jo Walton’s My Real Children with the breeziness of Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.” Library Journal (starred review)

“With humor, grace and dizzying skill, Mastai crafts a time-traveling novel that challenges every convention of the trope, and succeeds brilliantly. His droll, unassuming writing style couches a number of razor-sharp critiques about both our own reality and that of his hero, while the endless array of technological gadgets, innovations and possibilities give the story its drive and irresistible exuberance… heartrending, funny, smart, and stunningly, almost brazenly hopeful.” RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)

“Mastai's novel is both charming and wondrously plotted....‘Existence is not a thing with which to muck around,’ and yet that's exactly what fantastic storytelling attempts, warping reality, perception, and truth—and hopefully entertaining us as well as this novel does.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Mastai’s utopian worldbuilding is complex and imaginative...An entertaining rom-com of errors, All Our Wrong Todays backflips through paradoxes while exploring provocative questions of grief and the multitudes we contain within ourselves. Ultimately, it’s a story about love—and the stupid things we’ll do for it.” Bookpage

All Our Wrong Todays is thoroughly entertaining as it zips along through time, offering philosophical commentary and incisive glimpses into what it means to be human along the way. Elan Mastai has crafted a sharp and articulate masterpiece that boggles the mind and warms the heart.” —Bookreporter

“A novel about time travel has no right to be this engaging. A novel this engaging has no right to be this smart. And a novel this smart has no right to be this funny. Or insightful. Or immersive. Basically, this novel has no right to exist.” —Jonathan Tropper, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You and One Last Thing Before I Go

“Elan Mastai has conjured up a witty and freewheeling time-traveling romance that packs an emotional wallop. ALL OUR WRONG TODAYS is a page-turning delight.” —Maria Semple, author of Today Will Be Different and Where’d You Go, Bernadette
 
“A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity's future.” —Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian 
 
“Time travel bends our minds, and in the right hands it can tickle our funny bones. All Our Wrong Todays is a twisty, provocative, creative tale of one person at the center of multiple branching timelines. It's an extremely enjoyable way to get yourself thinking about our world and the ways it could be very different.” Sean Carroll, author of The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself

“As a novelist, I hate Elan Mastai for writing a perfect book. As a reader, I couldn't be more grateful.” —Ron Currie, author of Everything Matters! and The One-Eyed Man

“Screenwriter Mastai fills his debut with vintage-sf-novel-fueled names and explanations to anticipate readers’ every question; they’ll enjoy the ride.” Booklist
 
“Within the pages of this brilliant novel is enough humor, wisdom and joy to last us well into the next millennium. Elan Mastai is this generation's Vonnegut, providing us with the blueprints for building a more loving present, past, and future.” Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World 

“[An] imaginative debut novel...Mastai has fun with all the usual conventions of time travel and its many paradoxes, and the cherry on top is his dialogue, reminiscent of Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” —Publishers Weekly

“An intricate plot, cheeky humor, and rich, multi-faceted characters create a compelling and complex narrative. An additional meta-layer explores the role of writing in a world obsessed with technology. Sophisticated readers will enjoy revisiting arguments about the death of the novel; deciding whether Tom is right in asserting this is memoir and not fiction; and whether there is a meaningful difference between the two.” —VOYA Magazine

“Elan Mastai’s debut is full of laughs, adventure, and heart.” Bookish 

“Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.” —Tor.com

“Mastai’s debut hinges on a single, brilliant twist to the formula: the dystopian timeline is ours—the 2016 we all lived in for a year...Mastai maintains a wry, crackling humor and dialogue that cuts sharper than a knife.” —Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

“A really fantastic adventure....I wish I could jump back in time so I could read it again for the first time.” —Geek Dad
 

Library Journal
★ 10/01/2016
This debut novel is built on a clever premise: the "real" present actually was a technological wonder, as visualized in postwar America. It was a world where every problem was solved by technology; a universe of flying cars and synthetic solutions. This was the actual present, but the narrator, Tom Barron, erased it when he altered the time line by mistake. Our current state of technology pales by comparison. The novel goes on to show how Tom screwed up and in doing so casts a distinct contrast between Tom in the techno-future and his character as he ends up in our time. Here he inherits a better life, just not "his" life. In describing the narrator's attempt to fix his "mistake," Mastai creates a fascinating tapestry of interconnected alternate realities. Particularly creepy is the introduction of the specter of a third, even darker possibility, which leavens the plot. VERDICT A potent mixture of sincere introspection and a riveting examination of time travel and alternate realities, this highly recommended novel is reminiscent of Jo Walton's My Real Children with the breeziness of Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. [See Prepub Alert, 8/22/16.]—Henry Bankhead, San Rafael P.L., CA
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-11-23
Screenwriter Mastai's debut novel is the story of the world's first and, unfortunately for us all, most unqualified time traveler.July 11, 1965, is the day the world changed. It's the day that physicist Lionel Goettreider turns on his new creation, the Goettreider Engine, which works better than he or his 16 witnesses ever imagined: the machine generates an unlimited source of clean energy. How does it work? "It has something to do with magnetism and gravity and...honestly, I don't know...it just works. Or it did. Before, you know, me." This me is Tom Barren, who comes from "the world we were supposed to have." Tom is not from the future but rather a wildly different and more advanced 2016. His reality is a place marked by the "absence of material want," and yet Tom isn't happy. His career and love life are going nowhere, and, considering he is the son of the foremost scientist in the field of time travel, he is pretty much a failure. But then his father intervenes and hires him to become the understudy of Penelope Weschler, the insanely driven woman preparing to become one of the world's first "chrononauts," the fancy term for time traveler. Tom is there in case Penelope royally messes up, which would never happen. But then Tom falls in love with Penelope and Penelope notices, and everything unravels—so much so that Tom finds himself emotionally broken and activating the time machine without permission to go back to July 11, 1965, the moment his world began. And since Tom is not Penelope, things go horribly wrong. Mastai's novel is both charming and wondrously plotted—Tom's self-deprecation in the beginning seems to limit his potential as a character and yet, in the end, he's an impressive feat of memory and consciousness. Mastai considers not only the workings, but the consequences (and there are many) of time travel, packing so much into the last 100 pages it feels as if there's literal weight pressing on your mind. "Existence is not a thing with which to muck around," and yet that's exactly what fantastic storytelling attempts, warping reality, perception, and truth—and hopefully entertaining us as well as this novel does.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101985137
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/07/2017
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
738
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

1

So, the thing is, I come from the world we were supposed to have.

That means nothing to you, obviously, because you live here, in the crappy world we do have. But it never should've turned out like this. And it's all my fault-well, me and to a lesser extent my father and, yeah, I guess a little bit Penelope.

It's hard to know how to start telling this story. But, okay, you know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Flying cars, robot maids, food pills, teleportation, jet packs, moving sidewalks, ray guns, hover boards, space vacations, and moon bases. All that dazzling, transformative technology our grandparents were certain was right around the corner. The stuff of world's fairs and pulp science-fiction magazines with titles like Fantastic Future Tales and The Amazing World of Tomorrow. Can you picture it?

Well, it happened.

It all happened, more or less exactly as envisioned. I'm not talking about the future. I'm talking about the present. Today, in the year 2016, humanity lives in a techno-utopian paradise of abundance, purpose, and wonder.

Except we don't. Of course we don't. We live in a world where, sure, there are iPhones and 3D printers and, I don't know, drone strikes or whatever. But it hardly looks like The Jetsons. Except it should. And it did. Until it didn't. But it would have, if I hadn't done what I did. Or, no, hold on, what I will have done.

I'm sorry, despite receiving the best education available to a citizen of the World of Tomorrow, the grammar of this situation is a bit complicated.

Maybe the first person is the wrong way to tell this story. Maybe if I take refuge in the third person I'll find some sort of distance or insight or at least peace of mind. It's worth a try.

2

Tom Barren wakes up into his own dream.

Every night, neural scanners map his dreams while he sleeps so that both his conscious and unconscious thought patterns can be effectively modeled. Every morning, the neural scanners transmit the current dream-state data into a program that generates a real-time virtual projection into which he seamlessly rouses. The dream's scattershot plot is made increasingly linear and lucid until a psychologically pleasing resolution is achieved at the moment of full consciousness . . .

I'm sorry-I can't write like this. It's fake. It's safe.

The third person is comforting because it's in control, which feels really nice when relating events that were often so out of control. It's like a scientist describing a biological sample seen through a microscope. But I'm not the microscope. I'm the thing on the slide. And I'm not writing this to make myself comfortable. If I wanted comfort, I'd write fiction.

In fiction, you cohere all these evocative, telling details into a portrait of the world. But in everyday life, you hardly notice any of the little things. You can't. Your brain swoops past it all, especially when it's your own home, a place that feels barely separate from the inside of your mind or the outside of your body.

When you wake up from a real dream into a virtual one, it's like you're on a raft darting this way and that according to the blurry, impenetrable currents of your unconscious, until you find yourself gliding onto a wide, calm, shallow lake, and the slippery, fraught weirdness dissolves into serene, reassuring clarity. The story wraps up the way it feels like it must, and no matter how unsettling the content, you wake with the rejuvenating solidity of order restored. And that's when you realize you're lying in bed, ready to start the day, with none of that sticky subconscious gristle caught in the cramped folds of your mind.

It might be what I miss most about where I come from. Because in this world waking up sucks.

Here, it's like nobody has considered using even the most rudimentary technology to improve the process. Mattresses don't subtly vibrate to keep your muscles loose. Targeted steam valves don't clean your body in slumber. I mean, blankets are made from tufts of plant fiber spun into thread and occasionally stuffed with feathers. Feathers. Like from actual birds. Waking up should be the best moment of your day, your unconscious and conscious minds synchronized and harmonious.

Getting dressed involves an automated device that cuts and stitches a new outfit every morning, indexed to your personal style and body type. The fabric is made from laser-hardened strands of a light-sensitive liquid polymer that's recycled nightly for daily reuse. For breakfast, a similar system outputs whatever meal you feel like from a nutrient gel mixed with color, flavor, and texture protocols. And if that sounds gross to you, in practice it's indistinguishable from what you think of as real food, except that it's uniquely gauged to your tongue's sensory receptors so it tastes and feels ideal every time. You know that sinking feeling you get when you cut into an avocado, only to find that it's either hard and underripe or brown and bruised under its skin? Well, I didn't know that could even happen until I came here. Every avocado I ever ate was perfect.

It's weird to be nostalgic for experiences that both did and didn't exist. Like waking up every morning completely refreshed. Something I didn't even realize I could take for granted because it was simply the way things were. But that's the point, of course-the way things were . . . never was.

What I'm not nostalgic for is that every morning when I woke up and got dressed and ate breakfast in this glittering technological utopia, I was alone.

3

On July 11, 1965, Lionel Goettreider invented the future.

Obviously you've never heard of him. But where I come from, Lionel Goettreider is the most famous, beloved, and respected human on the planet. Every city has dozens of things named after him: streets, buildings, parks, whatever. Every kid knows how to spell his name using the catchy mnemonic tune that goes G-O-E-T-T-R-E-I-D-E-R.

You have no idea what I'm talking about. But if you were from where I'm from, it'd be as familiar to you as A-B-C.

Fifty-one years ago, Lionel Goettreider invented a revolutionary way to generate unlimited, robust, absolutely clean energy. His device came to be called the Goettreider Engine. July 11, 1965, was the day he turned it on for the very first time. It made everything possible.

Imagine that the last five decades happened with no restrictions on energy. No need to dig deeper and deeper into the ground and make the skies dirtier and dirtier. Nuclear became unnecessarily tempestuous. Coal and oil pointlessly murky. Solar and wind and even hydropower became quaint low-fidelity alternatives that nobody bothered with unless they were peculiarly determined to live off the main grid.

So, how did the Goettreider Engine work?

How does electricity work? How does a microwave oven work? How does your cell phone or television or remote control work? Do you actually understand on, like, a concrete technical level? If those technologies disappeared, could you reconceive, redesign, and rebuild them from scratch? And, if not, why not? You only use these things pretty much every single day.

But of course you don't know. Because unless your job's in a related field you don't need to know. They just work, effortlessly, as they were intended to.

Where I come from, that's how it is with the Goettreider Engine. It was important enough to make Goettreider as recognizable a name as Einstein or Newton or Darwin. But how it functioned, like, technically? I really couldn't tell you.

Basically, you know how a dam produces energy? Turbines harness the natural propulsion of water flowing downward via gravity to generate electricity. To be clear, that's more or less all I understand about hydroelectric power. Gravity pulls water down, so if you stick a turbine in its path, the water spins it around and somehow makes energy.

The Goettreider Engine does that with the planet. You know that the Earth spins on its axis and also revolves around the Sun, while the Sun itself moves endlessly through the solar system. Like water through a turbine, the Goettreider Engine harnesses the constant rotation of the planet to create boundless energy. It has something to do with magnetism and gravity and . . . honestly, I don't know-any more than I genuinely understand an alkaline battery or a combustion engine or an incandescent light bulb. They just work.

So does the Goettreider Engine. It just works.

Or it did. Before, you know, me.

4

I am not a genius. If you've read this far, you're already aware of that fact.

But my father is a legitimate full-blown genius of the highest order. After finishing his third PhD, Victor Barren spent a few crucial years working in long-range teleportation before founding his own lab to pursue his specific niche field-time travel.

Even where I come from, time travel was considered more or less impossible. Not because of time, actually, but because of space.

Here's why every time-travel movie you've ever seen is total bullshit: because the Earth moves.

You know this. Plus I mentioned it last chapter. The Earth spins all the way around once a day, revolves around the Sun once a year, while the Sun is on its own cosmic route through the solar system, which is itself hurtling through a galaxy that's wandering an epic path through the universe.

The ground under you is moving, really fast. Along the equator, the Earth rotates at over 1,000 miles per hour, twenty-four hours a day, while orbiting the Sun at a little over 67,000 miles per hour. That's 1,600,000 miles per day. Meanwhile our solar system is in motion relative to the Milky Way galaxy at more than 1,300,000 miles per hour, covering just shy of 32,000,000 miles per day. And so on.

If you were to travel back in time to yesterday, the Earth would be in a different place in space. Even if you travel back in time one second, the Earth below your feet can move nearly half a kilometer. In one second.

The reason every movie about time travel is nonsense is that the Earth moves, constantly, always. You travel back one day, you don't end up in the same location-you end up in the gaping vacuum of outer space.

Marty McFly didn't appear thirty years earlier in his hometown of Hill Valley, California. His tricked-out DeLorean materialized in the endless empty blackness of the cosmos with the Earth approximately 350,000,000,000 miles away. Assuming he didn't immediately lose consciousness from the lack of oxygen, the absence of air pressure would cause all the fluids in his body to bubble, partially evaporate, and freeze. He would be dead in less than a minute.

The Terminator would probably survive in space because it's an unstoppable robot killing machine, but traveling from 2029 to 1984 would've given Sarah Connor a 525,000,000,000-mile head start.

Time travel doesn't just require traveling back in time. It also requires traveling back to a pinpoint-specific location in space. Otherwise, just like with regular old everyday teleportation, you could end up stuck inside something.

Think about where you're sitting right now. Let's say on an olive-green couch. A white ceramic bowl of fake green pears and real brown pinecones propped next to your feet on the teak coffee table. A brushed-steel floor lamp glows over your shoulder. A coarse rug over reclaimed barn-board elm floors that cost too much but look pretty great . . .

If you were to teleport even a few inches in any direction, your body would be embedded in a solid object. One inch, you're wounded. Two inches, you're maimed. Three inches, you're dead.

Every second of the day, we're all three inches from being dead.

Which is why teleportation is safe and effective only if it's between dedicated sites on an exactingly calibrated system.

My father's early work in teleportation was so important because it helped him understand the mechanics of disincorporating and reincorporating a human body between discrete locations. It's what stymied all previous time-travel initiatives. Reversing the flow of time isn't even that complex. What's outrageously complex is instantaneous space travel with absolute accuracy across potentially billions of miles.

My father's genius wasn't just about solving both the theoretical and logistic challenges of time travel. It was about recognizing that in this, as in so many other aspects of everyday life, our savior was Lionel Goettreider.

5

The first Goettreider Engine was turned on once and never turned off-it's been running without interruption since 2:03 p.m. on Sunday, July 11, 1965.

Goettreider's original device wasn't designed to harness and emit large-scale amounts of energy. It was an experimental prototype that performed beyond its inventor's most grandiose expectations. But the whole point of a Goettreider Engine is that it never has to be deactivated, just as the planet never stops moving. So, the prototype was left running in the same spot where it was first switched on, in front of a small crowd of sixteen observers in a basement laboratory in section B7 of the San Francisco State Science and Technology Center.

Where I come from, every schoolkid knows the names and faces of the Sixteen Witnesses. Numerous books have been written about every single one of them, with their presence at this ultimate hinge in history shoved into the chronology of their individual lives as the def ining event, whether or not it was factually true.

Countless works of art have depicted The Activation of the Goettreider Engine. It's The Last Supper of the modern world, those sixteen faces, each with its own codified reaction. Skeptical. Awed. Distracted. Amused. Jealous. Angry. Thoughtful. Frightened. Detached. Concerned. Excited. Nonchalant. Harried. There's three more. Damn it, I should know this . . .

When the prototype Engine was first turned on, Goettreider just wanted to verify his calculations and prove his theory wasn't completely misguided-all it had to do was actually work. And it did work, but it had a major defect. It emitted a unique radiation signature, what was later called tau radiation, a nod to how physics uses the Greek capital letter T to represent proper time in relativity equations.

As the Engine's miraculous energy-generating capacities expanded to power the whole world, the tau radiation signature was eliminated from the large-scale industrial models. But the prototype was left to run, theoretically forever, in Goettreider's lab in San Francisco-now among the most visited museums on the planet-out of respect, nostalgia, and a legally rigid clause in Goettreider's last will and testament.

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What People are Saying About This

Author of Everything Matters! and The One-Eyed Man - Ron Currie
As a novelist, I hate Elan Mastai for writing a perfect book. As a reader, I couldn't be more grateful.
Author of The Martian - Andy Weir
A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity's future.
Author of This Is Where I Leave You and One Last Thing Before I Go - Jonathan Tropper
A novel about time travel has no right to be this engaging. A novel this engaging has no right to be this smart. And a novel this smart has no right to be this funny. Or insightful. Or immersive. Basically, this novel has no right to exist.

Meet the Author

Elan Mastai was born in Vancouver and lives in Toronto with his wife and children. He is an award-winning screenwriter. This is his first novel.

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