Bookmans Recommends: Time Travel Books for Leap Day
Because it’s a leap year, this February we get an extra day to read. Leap Day may make time for more reading, but when we try to understand the phenomena of a leap year things get complicated.
Although most calendar years contain 365 days, one solar year is 365 days and 6 hours, meaning we gain an extra 24 hours every 4 years. Instead of a dangling 1/4 day at the end of every year, the modern Gregorian calendar simplifies this phenomenon by combining these hours to make the standard 24 and then adding one extra day every 4 years. Hence, Leap Day.
What will you do with this extra day? Sleep? Catch up on laundry? Weed the yard? How about reading a book? Or even reading a book about Leap Day? We couldn’t find any books to recommend on Leap Day, but we do enjoy time travel books. Time travel evokes the sort of disorientation people feel during time shifts like Daylight Savings or Leap Day. We included a frog book in the photo because frogs leap (heh). These recommendations should keep your mind off the fact that a heavy duty mathematical calculation has given you an extra day.
The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF, edited by Mike Ashley, is a collection of 25 Sci-Fi time travel stories. The great thing about this short story collection is its flexibility. If you don’t connect with one story, the next one is likely to be entertaining. This collection presents challenging ideas while also keeping the stories focused. The tales pose questions such as whether or not we can return to our present-day reality if we move into an alternate one and what would happen if our interference with nature affected time itself, causing it to flow backwards or even stop. Full of ideas that are both fun and scary to consider, this anthology is not to be missed.
We love Time and Again by Jack Finney not only because it takes place in an interesting time in the past, but also because it is illustrated. Rather than replacing the reader’s visual imaginings, these illustrations give the world a more vivid feel. The back cover reads, “Sleep. And when you awake everything you know of the 20th century will be gone from your mind. Tonight is January 21, 1882. There are no such things as automobiles, no planes, computers, television. ‘Nuclear’ appears in one dictionary. You have never heard the name Richard Nixon.” Intrigued?
New York Times bestseller, The Little Book by Selden Edwards, took 30 years to complete (and Stephen King thought writing the Dark Tower was a lengthy process). The main character, Wheeler Burden, lives the life of a wealthy banking heir, rock idol and baseball hero. When Burden is thrust back in time to Vienna 1897, he meets historical figures like Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain and Adolf Hitler, as well as young members of his own family who help him unravel a hundred-year mystery.
No list of time travel books is complete without H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, about a man who travels thousands of years into the future and encounters a new race of humans and their underground counterparts. This is the time travel tale that inspired the Steampunk movement. If you’re a Steampunk fan or want to learn more about this literary and film genre, come to our 2nd Annual Steampunk Invasion at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, at Bookmans Speedway, where we will show The Time Machine. Tucson Steampunk Society will be here along with Tucson’s best Steampunk artists for tea dueling, craft workshops, raffles and guest appearances.
If time travel, Steampunk and all things Sci-Fi are your style stop by and check out our Leap Day display at Bookmans Speedway. Don’t wait, because it won’t be here for long and we can’t loan you our time machine to travel back in time to check it out.
* Bookmans is your store to explore. If you would like to pick up one of these time travel books or any specific title, please give us a call and we will check our shelves for you. Otherwise, we hope you will come and browse.