Hollow World

( 6 )

Overview


Ellis Rogers is a seemingly ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing. But when he is faced with a terminal illness, Ellis is willing to take an insane gamble. He's secretly built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a utopian world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and what the cost of paradise really might be.

Ellis could...

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Hollow World (A time-travel sci-fi thriller)

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Overview


Ellis Rogers is a seemingly ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing. But when he is faced with a terminal illness, Ellis is willing to take an insane gamble. He's secretly built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a utopian world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and what the cost of paradise really might be.

Ellis could find more than a cure for his disease; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time has begun — but only if he can survive the Hollow World.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/17/2014
Fantasy author Sullivan (the Riyria Revelations series) takes a stab at science fiction, introducing a man who travels through time in hopes of curing his terminal lung cancer. Intending to go 200 years into the future, Ellis Rogers winds up in the year 4078, where a utopic underground civilization has “no war, no discrimination, no disease, no pollution, no violence, no class warfare.” Yet Ellis immediately witnesses a murder, involving him in a scheme that will affect the nature of the entire Hollow World. Well paced and exciting for the first half, the story fluctuates between a crawl and a race in the second half, leaving some questions unanswered. Sullivan’s heavy reliance on contemporary references (including Winnie-the-Pooh, Star Wars, and Lost) is distracting, but his old-fashioned utopian allegory will please readers who share his views on same-sex love (he’s for it) and fascism (he’s against it). (Apr.)
From the Publisher

Barnes and Noble’s Top Fantasy and Science Fiction Picks for April 2014
Ten Fantasy and Science-Fiction Novels Worth Reading in April 2014
The Book Probe's 2014 Most Anticipating Sci-Fi Novels
The Bibliosanctum's Top 10 Reads of 2013
Fantasy Review Barn's Barney Award for outstanding reads of 2013
Ranting Dragon's 30 Most Anticipated Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels for 2014

“Recommended for fans of Sullivan and those who enjoy speculative fiction with a touch of mystery.”
Library Journal

"This book made me laugh. It also made me cry. And in the end, it made me think. I highly recommend Hollow World for anyone looking for a book that brushes on and plays out some political and social issues we face today."
-SFFWorld

“A thoroughly enjoyable and engaging story with a satisfying philosophical edge elevating entirely.”
Interzone

“Highly recommended for science fiction fans. Also recommended if you are new to science fiction or even if you don’t necessarily consider yourself a fan of the genre, still try this because in terms of story enjoyment and literary value, this is a great book! “
Grimdark Reader, Peter Witvliet

“I definitely recommend this book to sci-fi fans and to fans of Sullivan’s other works. It was an excellent read.”
Hidden in Pages

“Full of impossible fantasy yet feeling entirely emotionally-true.... This is a superb time travelling tale, full of imagination and intrigue”
Nerds of a Feather

“These powerful questions that Sullivan explores about existence, love, and trials make Hollow World one of the deeper and enjoyable stories of 2014. Hollow World is a highly recommended time-travel story and a must read for anyone who loves the nostalgia of their first adventure into the possibilities of past and future.”
Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing

Hollow World is a simply fantastic read. Sullivan makes the wise choice of not focusing too much on the science behind his time-travelling story, allowing himself to craft a tale filled with richly detailed characters that readers will connect with easily."
Starburst

“[The] Hollow World by Michael Sullivan is a fascinating futuristic tale.”
Night Owl Sci-Fi

"Hollow World is so many things, but without a doubt, the best part about it is also its most obvious duality: that is it at once a light and entertaining read, but also heavy on important issues and philosophy. Most important of all, this story will make you think and feel. I absolutely loved it."
The Bibliosanctum

“...original and entertaining to read.”
Jetpack Dragon

“This short novel from Sullivan ("The Riyria Revelations" series) is an enjoyable look at a post-scarcity society in the future, with a man from our time highlighting the ways we might stay the same, even as the world around us changes.”
Library Journal

Hollow World is one of the best science fiction books I’ve read in a long time. Pick it up!”
Bibliophilic

“Masterful storytelling takes hold in Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan.... Hands down, this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.”
Literary Escapism

Hollow World is one more piece of evidence that Tachyon Publications is bringing some original and fascinating science fiction to readers.”
Lit/Rant

On Theft of Swords

"Filled with adventure and clever dialog and featuring a pair of not-quite-heroes whose loyalties to each other provide them with their greatest strength, this epic fantasy showcases the arrival of a master storyteller... A winning debut for fantasy lovers."
Library Journal

"Hair-raising escapes, flashy sword fights, and faithful friendship complete the formula for good old-fashioned escapist fun."
Publishers Weekly

"It's Lord of the Rings meets Pirates of the Caribbean."
Realm of Worlds

On The Crown Conspiracy

"The Crown Conspiracy is great fun and a romp end to end. Highly recommended."
Fantasy Book Critic

"Highly recommend it to all fans of fantasy.... I can’t wait to get my hands on the second omnibus, Rise of Empire."
——Civilian Reader

“Fantastically crafted.”
Book Probe

“The traveler in Hollow World leaps ahead with a time machine, yet in the midst of massive technological change and grand ambition more fundamental dreams and nightmares still exert a haunting force....giving a play of ideas of the harder edge that drives classic mystery, adventure, and science fiction.”
Locus

Library Journal
04/15/2014
Dying of cancer and unable to face the emptiness of his marriage after his son's death, engineer Ellis Rogers builds a time machine in his garage. Aiming for 200 years into the future, Ellis instead jumps forward 2,000 years. The first two people he encounters are strangely hairless and genderless, and Ellis watches in horror as one of them stabs and kills the other. A group comes to investigate, including the counselor Pax, who takes Ellis home with him. Pax tries to help Ellis acclimate to this new world where humanity has created elaborate new habitats below Earth's surface. But Ellis might be the only person who can find out why his arrival coincided with the first murder in a millennium. VERDICT This short novel from Sullivan ("The Riyria Revelations" series) is an enjoyable look at a post-scarcity society in the future, with a man from our time highlighting the ways we might stay the same, even as the world around us changes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616961831
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications
  • Publication date: 4/15/2014
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 252,640
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Michael J. Sullivan is the bestselling author of the Riyria Revelations series. Sullivan has been successful through all three major publishing models: small press, self-publishing, and Big Six (Orbit); as of 2010, he has sold over 250,000 copies in e-book and print formats. His novels have been selected for over sixty best of the year lists including lists by Library Journal, Barnes & Noble, and Audible.com. Sullivan's work has been translated into more than a dozen languages, including French, Spanish, Russian, and German.
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Read an Excerpt


Excerpt from Hollow World, chapter four

***

“Everyone just stay back.”

“Darwin—has to be.”

“Anyone see the attack?”

“No. I was the one who reported it—who requested help. We didn’t see it, though. They were like that when we found them.”

“And you’re part of the same group?”

“Gale University—I’m leading a class in ancient history. We were on a field trip.”

“All right, you can do us a favor and just continue with that. Stay clear of this side of the park, okay?”

“Is it really a Darwin?”

“We don’t know what we’re dealing with yet, so please give us room.”

Ellis opened his eyes and found the blue sky, now decorated with pretty balls of white cotton. The light was different, the sun having moved well to the west so that the trees and farmhouse were casting long shadows. His chest was better. He could breathe again, yet everything else felt sore.

“Pax—open eyes here.”

“Okay, everyone just relax.” The person speaking was the closest of those around him, but still about thirty feet away.

A dozen people had gathered near the old farmhouse, two standing closer than the rest and all looking identical. Each shared the same soft face with big, dark eyes, short noses, and tan-brown skin as if some Middle Eastern mother had popped out an Irish Catholic-sized brood of identical duodecaplets.

They were all dressed oddly, with several not dressed at all. Some just wore hats, or scarves, or coats. One was dressed all in bright yellow. Another had a full ensemble of red and white stripes—right down to shoes, which made Ellis think of Dr. Seuss. None of them had a single strand of hair, and just like the first pair of androgynous manikins, these new visitors also appeared to have been made by Mattel.

Ellis wondered if he was having a dream of the Wizard of Oz variety. Everyone looked vaguely like a bald version of the lady doctor who had told him he was going to die. Maybe he had never time traveled at all. Any minute he could wake up surrounded by Warren, Peggy, and the doctor so he could say, “And you were there, and you, and you.

“We should get more help,” said one of the two nearest, who wore just a satchel hanging from one shoulder, a frightened look, and a decorative tattoo. Both spoke in the same fashion as the others.

“Give me a minute, okay,” the closer of the two replied. He, she, or it wore a full set of clothes, at least. Some strange getup pulled from a Sherlock Holmes story consisting of a long black frock coat, silver vest, white trousers, wing shirt, gray tie, and a bowler hat. Maybe Ellis had accidentally crashed a wedding or really had gone back in time. So what if Hoffmann didn’t think it was possible.

“Pax! Don’t go near it. If that’s a Darwin, we don’t know what it’ll do. It’s already killed one person.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    Could have been so much more, but fell far short.

    Warning contains spoilers!

    There was a lot to like about this book the mystery, the future society, and the world building.

    There was also a lot that I found unappealing: the pontificating on God, religion, and the nature of heaven was all very shallow and trite; the cliche back to nature/virtue of hard work and suffering lifestyle vs. technological comfort and ease lifestyle; the terribly superficial "conflict" between conservative and liberal world views.

    I kept reading because the mystery and the world building were so compelling. The main character was a bit of a knob.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2014

    Good book

    Not expensive so take a chance. There is SO MUCH bad sci fi out there these days it really makes you pause to take a chance. Not this one. Well written, good plot, enjoy it, it's good. Kat

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  • Posted April 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    When Ellis Rogers receives his diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary

    When Ellis Rogers receives his diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a death sentence (as the median life expectancy in IPF patients after diagnosis is 2 to 3 years), he decides to take the plunge and use the time machine he’s built in his garage. He arrives 2,000 years in the future and stumbles upon a murder, which is something now unheard of in the future. In Hollow World, Ellis just may find everything he’s ever wanted- even the things he never realized he needed.




    HOLLOW WORLD is a beautifully written science fiction tale. The author created a very well-developed and intricate version of Earth’s future and gives it perspective through the eyes of someone from our time. Ellis Rogers is a man with a lot of pain in his heart and it’s absolutely fascinating to watch him discover the future. HOLLOW WORLD isn’t a science- or action-heavy novel, so if you’re looking for that, this might not be the book for you. However, if you enjoy thought-provoking sociological and philosophical questions wrapped in a time-travel adventure – you’ll love HOLLOW WORLD. The writing is absolutely solid, deceptively simple, and will leave you utterly changed. HOLLOW WORLD is one of the best science fiction books I’ve read in a long time. Pick it up!!

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  • Posted April 2, 2014

    One of the first things that appealed about Hollow World was how

    One of the first things that appealed about Hollow World was how easy it was to get into the story. Written in the classic style of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, Hollow World produces a modern story just as enjoyable, if not more so, than its predecessor. The main character, Ellis Rodgers, is introduced to the readers while finding out that he has terminal cancer, and instead of tearing up, he starts laughing. The mystery in his story continues from there to the final line, and the discoveries along the way were a real treat.

    Ellis Rogers laughs because he had just recently discovered the secret to time travel. In a story that delves into his philosophy on God’s existence and serendipitous involvement in his life, this is the first sign that something special is going on. But, as we follow him home, we see why the notion of being special is so foreign to him. His relationship to his wife of over thirty years has fallen into a depressing routine since their son killed himself. She keeps the television on to avoid silence and he seems to come home only for food, sleep and to work alone in his garage.

    As a reader who is almost five years into marriage, this is a great fear, and it really caused me to empathize with Ellis and hope for him to find happiness. As an aside, if you read Greener Grass, the short story he wrote last year that involved a similar time-travel plot, this story is almost completely different and has a much more engaging character in Ellis.

    I don’t want to give away what happens next between him and his wife, except for the obvious conclusion that his time-travel device worked. In a genre where science jargon can get out of hand, I think Sullivan did a great job creating believability without slowing the story down. I found Ellis’s research and efforts satisfying on a discovery of science level without wishing for anything to be edited out. This is Sullivan’s style, and one that makes him so consistently readable.

    Another aspect of Sullivan’s style, which you may know from his Epic Fantasy series, Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicles, is that after he hooks you with his likable characters, he whisks you off into a richly imagined world. How can I share with you this futuristic world without ruining the experience of discovering it? I suppose I’ll just say that this future has wiped out the Y chromosome and created a haven where people are safe from war… or so they think.

    The removal of the Y chromosome is important to mention because in this future world that Ellis crashes into, he will be faced with interacting with people without the classification of “he” or “she.” This is another part of the mystery, so I’ll just say that Sullivan uses this to deliver a powerful realization about love.

    Now that I think about it, most of the entertaining philosophical questions are hinged on spoilers. Darn it, Sullivan! ;) I’ll ask some of the questions that he does and let you find out how they fit with his characters and the mystery of who plans to destroy Hollow World.

    Is the pursuit of God beneficial to our civilization?

    Have we pursued God in the right way?

    Do we really love our neighbor?

    Do we really love our spouse?

    If we had the power to force our beliefs on the world, would it be better off? Are we fundamentally similar to tyrants of old, lacking only the power and circumstance to make worldwide changes?

    Would we be better off with a device that made whatever we wanted, or a full-time job to pay for the things we want?

    Would you like to live forever?

    These powerful questions that Sullivan explores about existence, love, and trials make Hollow World one of the deeper and enjoyable stories of 2014. Hollow World is a highly recommended time-travel story and a must read for anyone who loves the nostalgia of their first adventure into the possibilities of past and future.

    Review published at Adventures in Scifi Publishing. Review copy provided by Netgalley.

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  • Posted March 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Is Hollow World the Ideal Society or "Hollow" When it Comes to Ideals?

    I usually love a good time travel story and this one is right up there with some of the best. Ellis Rogers is dying from an incurable lung disease and enstranged from his wife after their son Isley committed suicide. Ellis came across the theories of a scientist on time travel and figures out that some of the calculations were wrong and he is able to correct the math and contruct his own time machine in his garage. He is eager to leave his unhappy existance, especially with a death sentence hovering and escape to the future where there is probably a cure for him.

    He goes a lot further forward than anticipated and ends up in Hollow World. It is a Utopian society where disease is unknown and people generally live forever and live under the Earth's surface (thus in a "Hollow" world). All is not what Ellis had envisioned as residents strive to be different and admire Ellis for his "uniqueness." Ellis longs for the things he left behind and the main thing that makes Hollow World tolerable for him is his new friend Pax who has a knack of always knowing what will please Ellis.

    Some things that Ellis left in his past seem to come back and want to change this "perfect" world. Pax seems to have insights as to what those things are but Ellis is not so sure if Pax is right or just a bit crazy.

    The book is a testiment to the individual. Having read the author's bio at the end of the book it does mention that he was influenced by Ayn Rand. I enjoyed the book all the way to the end and wanted it to continue! I hope the author is planning a sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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