My favorite of Baxter’s bold and abstract Time series, this book is a bit of wish fulfillment for me. Reid Malenfant launches himself to the edge of our solar system to investigate an anomaly and begins a millennia-long journey through mankind’s future. This book makes me want to live forever, just to see what happens next.
A Tale for the Time Being
Simply magical, Ozeki somehow not only manages to transcend the nature of time itself with this novel, but to challenge the conventional identities of characters within the pages. Reflective, achingly personal, and unfathomably deep, this is a beautiful book.
A masterwork of interlocking stories and characters, Mitchell’s extremely bold, very challenging, intricate novel presents its six tales in reverse chronological order. It’s a book that demands careful attention, and rewards it immensely.
There is virtually no build-up to the time travel in this book, and that’s why the conceit works so well. It’s 1976 when the protagonist suddenly finds herself hurled back through time to a pre-civil war plantation. The abruptness with which this event occurs is thrilling.
Outlander (Starz Tie-in Edition)
The scene where Claire, investigating a buzzing noise coming from a standing stone in the highlands of Scotland and falls through time will be imprinted on me forever.
Valley of the Moon
Valley of the Moon was inspired by the musical Brigadoon—a tale of a 20th-century man who stumbles upon an 18th-century village in Scotland that has somehow been stuck in time. Valley of the Moon is the story of a young single mom named Lux who goes camping in the Sonoma Valley. She awakens in the middle of the night to find her campsite enveloped in a dense fog. Disoriented, she wanders toward a point of light in the distance and emerges into a meadow on a sunny day. There she meets a group of people whose sweetly simple clothing, speech and manners almost make them feel like they are from another time… and then she realizes they are. She has stumbled upon the idyllic community of Greengage that has been cut off not only from the rest of the world but also from time itself, marooning its residents in the early 20th century.
Each time I sit down to write a story about ordinary people doing ordinary things, something goes sideways. A portal opens to another when or where; someone runs into their duplicated self in the grocery store. In my novel Eleanor, a fourteen-year-old girl tries to rescue her drowning family by blurring the lines of time itself. I have to blame this, I think, on my lifelong diet of fantastical stories that whirl around regular, everyday people. I have a particular love for stories that bend time in one way or another or play fast and loose with the rules.
Here are some of my recent and lifelong favorites, many of which I’ve come back to time and again to indulge this beloved pastime of mine.
Images: Author photo: © Rodrigo Moyses, Steve Collender/Shutterstock.com.