I’m a time travel nut. Honestly, I wouldn’t have any hesitation in jumping in the nearest time ship should someone offer it to me, if they existed of couse.
But Kate Mascarenhas’ book, The Psychology of Time Travel, makes me hesitate a bit.
It’s a glorious read, the majority female cast are spectacular and oh so human at the same time. Each one with something that they’re trying so hard to make peace with or to figure out or to cause a bit of chaos. And there’s definitely a lot of chaos within the order of this world.
For each rule, each idea, it’s twisted and warped as if itself had travelled through time and come out the other end something much different from what it expected. It’s a weight that the characters often can’t bear and you feel that. You feel each agonising decision that they make. You mourn the loss of their wonder.
Time travel becomes ordinary, cheap but with a thrill that no one is prepared to let go of. As if the moment you step into the machine you’ve made a decision about how your life is going to be from that point onwards. For some that’s exactly what it is, for most, it’s as horrifying as it is amazing.
This isn’t like a lot of time travel stories, this doesn’t focus on the whimsy or on the fatalistic nature of potential time travel, this looks at both angles and marries them well. Time travel is wonderful but it comes with a cost. The decision that everyone in this book has to make is if the cost is worth it.
Is time travel worth your soul?