Time Aerials: A Time Travel Diversion
A Science Fiction e-book on consciousness and death. On time-paradoxes and reality.
History crashes and a Great Mind arises, phoenix-like, from the end of time. It repairs the universe, only to unleash the squamaflies. But more trouble lies ahead. There is Rick, the serial entrepreneur, and the mysterious Girl in Black. And Miles and many others. In the background are the shimmering time aerials and the books that change.
ISBN: 978-0-9943704-0-2 ePub edition
ISBN: 978-0-9943704-1-9 Kindle edition
Published worldwide, 22 June 2015, by Russell Kightley, Canberra
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CREATING THE BOOK: I wrote it over about 18 months, mainly using the brilliant writing software SCRIVENER by Literature and Latte. This allowed for plenty of shuffling about, and ultimately a very easy export to an ePub file. I also used their Scapple software for mind-mapping and working out timelines and plots. It is difficult to keep the twisted histories and causal loops of a time-travel novel clear, and Scapple helped a lot. Another excellent tool was Aeon Timeline which I used to get dates and ages right. There were also plenty of hand-drawn diagrams using multi-coloured pens. Continuity editing (and a lot of advice) by Phill Berrie. Phill, and all the others who helped, are acknowledged in the book.
CREATING THE COVER: The neurons on the book cover were modelled in 3D-Coat and imported into Cheetah3D, my 3D companion for many years. This particular arrangement of the model is unique to this book. The cover was assembled in Affinity Designer and scaled in Pixelmator. Related pictures at scientific.pictures.
TRIVIA: The Numerology Machine chapter was based on my numerology calculator, although, of course, the fictional one is far more powerful, since it taps into the universe (well, a universe, anyway)… And my computer, powerful though it is, lacks some of the necessary circuitry…
Time Aerials in different territories:
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This is a novel that explores the subject of consciousness, deep time and time travel.
What if time wasn’t infinite? What if it was a limited resource that could run out? What if time was like a piece of string that had knots in it? Well, Great Minds think alike is all I can say to that without being too spoilerish.
This book has a single story arc that binds together a number of vignettes that contain some novel ideas in what to me is a well-travelled genre: time travel. The author iterates his way through these ideas in a number of humorous and innovative ways and there is a lot here to like considering it is a debut novel.
On a technical level, the prose in this book is excellent though obviously strongly influenced by the author’s joint Australian and English heritage, which some readers might find a little unfamiliar at first. Overall I thought the story idea was good, however, I thought it lost some focus about two thirds of the way through the book and the ending left too many unanswered questions for my taste.
An author to keep an eye on.
Caveat: I know the author and I worked professionally on an earlier version of this book.
It took me a little while to adjust to the format of Time Aerials, as I was expecting a contiguous novel where I needed to keep track of the characters. Once I accepted it as more of a collection of short stories, with a few connecting threads, I relaxed into it more. Actually, the jumpy format perfectly suits the subject matter, and the fractured version of time that Kightley presents.
Overall, the book is a very enjoyable read. And sprinkled here and there are snippets which I think are absolutely brilliant. It had me laughing hard in spots, admiring the author’s insight and creativity in others, and sometimes just appreciating a beautifully phrased sentence—quotes that would not look out of place amongst the great writers. It didn’t quite hold that level of enjoyment consistently, as some chapters and subplots didn’t interest me as much as others… but I don’t know if that’s a criticism as much as a testament to the book’s diversity of subject and genre. It’s a smorgasbord of science fiction, philosophy, humour, drama, and horror; and other readers might very well prefer the chapters that didn’t grab me as much.
If you’re looking for a leisurely and predictable read, with beginning, middle and end—the way we assume time flows—this book may not be for you. But if you’re up for a bumpy adventure, and open to something a bit different, I say get a copy now—this very minute!—before The Great Mind of Kightley’s imagination deems the book’s secrets too sensitive, and you forever miss your chance.
(4 stars) posted 13/4/2016