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Book - 2016
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The compelling story of a couple living in the wake of a personal tragedy. She is a star employee of an online dating company, while he is a physicist, performing experiments that, if ever successful, may have unintended consequences, altering the nature of their lives and perhaps of reality itself. Rebecca Wright has gotten her life back, finding her way out of grief and depression following a personal tragedy years ago. She spends her days working in customer support for the Internet dating site where she first met her husband. However, she has a persistent, strange sense that everything around her is somewhat off-kilter: she constantly feels as if she has walked into a room and forgotten what she intended to do there; on TV, the President seems to be the wrong person in the wrong place; and each night she has disquieting dreams that may or may not be related to her husband Philip's pet project. Philip's decade-long dedication to the causality violation device (which he would greatly prefer you do not call a time machine ) has effectively stalled his career and made him a laughingstock in the physics community. But he may be closer to success than either of them knows or imagines . . .
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307907592
Branch Call Number: SF/Fantasy Pal
Characteristics: viii, 495 pages ; 25 cm


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Sep 01, 2018

This novel raises some excellent ethical questions about various forms of technology (self-driving cars, time machines, and dating sites).

May 16, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. I understand some of the other review's criticisms, but to me it was refreshing to have a novel with a sci-fi bent that has a well-written, FULLY DEVELOPED central female character and science grounded in real-life (that is, extrapolating on reality to what things might look like in 20-30 years without "aliens came and gave us tech and now we all live in tanks" kind of devices). It is more human-condition oriented than sci-fi oriented at the beginning. It describes coming of age in the modern world in a spot-on and down to earth way, while treating that experience with literary respect -- the book doesn't mock the people it writes about, it finds the beauty in modern anguish. Maybe it's because I also experienced a lot of what the character experiences (online dating, the post-college what-is-life, friends drifting apart in your 30's) but it's well written and goes to surprising places. I never could have guessed what would happen one chapter to the next. I read this maybe a year ago, and it has really stuck with me.

Dec 13, 2016

The first half of the book isn't science fiction; it is a Lifetime movie about the trials and tribulations of a woman in a man's world.

The second half of the book is some REALLY BAD science fiction. It makes no sense, and it has SERIOUS plot holes. It was too ridiculous for me to finish it.

It is a grave injustice to call this a science fiction novel; even though it has some parts that could be mistaken for science fiction if it is dark, and you can't find your glasses.

Nov 10, 2016

The book shows that Palmer isn't entirely an awful writer, there are glimmers of interesting topics, moments of humor and unbelievably nerdy insight. Unfortunately that only makes up about 80 pages of the book, the rest of it is some of the most mind-numbingly boring suburbanite minutiae you can imagine. I was reading this for my book club and on multiple occasions in the first two hundred pages I just wanted to put the book down. The characters are painfully dull, their dialogue and inner monologues are enough to make even the most hackneyed rom-com writer cringe in horror.

ArapahoeAlice Aug 05, 2016

What sets this book apart from other hard science fiction novels is the depth of the characters, especially Rebecca, who is married to a driven physicist, Phillip. He exhibits characteristics of autism spectrum disorder that Rebecca often interprets in a positive way, such as thinking that some of his curt judgments show his a dry sense of humor. Is her friend Kate's negative view of Phillip accurate, or is Rebecca the perceptive person?

What I liked most was seeing events from different characters' points of view and different time periods. It is a bit like looking at their world through a kaleidoscope--every little twist gives you a different perspective and interpretation of events.

Jun 01, 2016

This intricate sci-fi novel begins with an engaging protagonist, an intriguing premise and full emotional charge. However, and as probably a given with a time-travel piece, it starts and stops in oftentimes jarring ways. Close reading is a must for fullest enjoyment. While I was catapulted through 3/4 of it at breakneck speed, the final chapters were slower and packed less of a punch. A good, nerdy read with a heart. But this isn't a skimmer or a fast read. Be prepared to give it your full attention.


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