A(nother) top 25 time travel/alternate history list

SnakTime Travel, Alternate Histories and Parallel Worlds

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A(nother) top 25 time travel/alternate history list

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maj 25, 2015, 11:43 pm

I stumbled across this list:

and was a bit surprised about some of the content. First, I haven't read most of the books. But it seems that I've been disappointed in every book on the list that I have read.

Which brings me to a question.

Two of the books that I was disappointed in seem to be pretty popular. I'm curious if I may be missing something or if it's a culture/age/whatever difference in a group population.

First is 1632. A lot of people like this one, it has a lot of sequels. I admit that the idea was very intriguing and creative. But the writing seemed to be lacking.

Trying to be succinct…

Almost all of the subplot lines seem to resolve themselves within a few pages of their start. No problems last long enough to be part of a real plot other than military conflicts. Maybe I'm forgetting one?

The author doesn't do good character development. When introducing the doctor, he has someone drop the line "So, Doc. Did the judge give you a choice? Between the Army and the Marines, I mean." Most of that was never explained.

The narration style switched suddenly from describing things in present tense dialog to describing them in past tense. At times the dialog felt very artificial and forced.

Ok, it's hard for me to be succinct. I'll leave it at that. But I did rather enjoy the book, I just felt it fell far short of what it could have been. I'm still trying to decide whether to read any sequels.

Do these bother other people?
Does his writing improve?
What do people think of this list in general?
Where's a better list?
Is there a better book with a similar plot?

For the record, the other book I was disappointed in was The Iron Dream which I read back in the college and only remember that I had a hard time finishing it - only to find a friend who raved about it.

maj 26, 2015, 8:07 pm

Time travel literature is pretty diverse in audience. There are some books and series that appeal more to one gender than another.

I have not read the Flint books so I can't assess them. However, sometimes the time travel element is minuscule, just something to get the story started. Otherwise it becomes more of an alternate history series (If _____ was different, how would the rest of the world change?).

As an accepted trope, time travel can be referred to without much explanation. This leads to many romance stories with no rationale at all for the mechanism for the time travel and how it was possible. For authors who want to have self-consistent time travel rules, Paul J. Nahin has a book with advice to writers, especially romance writers.