Hollow World

Hollow World

by Michael J Sullivan


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616961831
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,004,812
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About 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.

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.”

Customer Reviews

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Hollow World 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a fantastic journey. Ellis didn't expect the future he time traveled into.
eagle3tx More than 1 year ago
The main character Ellis is immediately likable and easy to root for as he is confronted with all the ways life on earth has changed.  In his new reality he is unlike everyone else, an intriguing unknown quantity with possibilities.  He must find a way to fit in since he will likely spend the rest of his life here.  He is able to connect with others, but his predicament becomes more convoluted every day as he becomes part of their agendas.  Thought-provoking the way the world has changed and technology has made both people and life simpler, but disconnected.  Inherent goodness and universal trust abound, but with the barely seen undercurrent of conspiracy and that power still absolutely corrupts when the vast majority are complacent.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Time machine meets modern era. Good story and quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TheBibliophilicBookBlog More than 1 year ago
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!!
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
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.
TimothyCWard More than 1 year ago
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.