Inoffensive to a fault. Read for book club. Feels odd in several ways: feels slice-of-life even when it’s not; doesn’t feel sci-fi even when it isn’t. The characters are cool but I won’t remember them. The author stand-in is awkward. The tie-in with the other novel … not sure, but I’m not a fan.
Also, everything is really bloody obvious. You always try to find out who the time traveller is, where he’s meeting himself unwittingly, etc. Annoyingly predictable in that regard. Well-written, I suppose.
Also it’s like there are only 10 people in this world and they keep running into each other. Book club had a fan theory: Since this world is canonically taking place in a simulation, maybe the fact that there are only 10 people is just … a fact, to preserve CPU.
Beware: full spoilers! Also probably incomplete and possibly incomprehensible.
Dude sees weird anomaly in 1912 Canada. (He’s well-written and irrelevant, but encounters a very odd priest, clearly a time traveller).
Vincent’s brother Paul uses her footage for his concerts, including a weird anomaly. Mirella, who used to be friends with Vincent, didn’t know she had died. A very odd guy, Gaspery, clearly a time traveller, talks to them. (Vincent’s husband was a super rich scammer, fled the country and left her without anything, and Vincent went to cook on a container ship until she had an accident and died.) Mirella remembers Gaspery from her childhood, where she met him when he killed two guys and was arrested. Clearly in Gaspery’s future …
Olive lives on Colony Two on the moon, selling author, about a pandemic, on Earth while a new pandemic breaks out (oh lol hint hint). (People have her line “We knew it was coming” tattood, just like her character, Gaspery.) Gaspery meets up with her because she saw an anomaly at the airport.
Gaspery obv is from the future, named after Olive’s character, lives when Colony 2 is a dump. His sister Zoey is brilliant and works for that time travel agency, he gets in by accident via sleazy recruiter. They claim to mostly investigate anomalies and safeguard the timeline, obv a lie. They only safeguard themselves. He trains for like five years, mostly in “don’t fuck the timeline”, so the first thing he does is to fuck the timeline by telling Olive to get out. lmao.
Gaspery gets framed for that murder, 50 years for double homicide. (Zoey advises him to stay and never come back to be safe. He doesn’t listen.) Zoey ends up rescuing him – she was arrested too, though only exiled, and is part of a rebel group with a hidden secret time machine of their own, in the Far Colonies. He recognises his own aged face as the dude from the airport. Takes up the violin, marries, takes over the farm, knowing his wife will die before he’ll play the violin in that airport. Turns out he’s the cause of the anomaly because he was in all those places at the same time, and even interviewed himself. Very “we live in a simulation and it couldn’t cope”.