Version Control, by Dexter Palmer

Version Control, by Dexter Palmer book coverGenre:  Science Fiction
Publisher:  Vintage
Published: 2016
Reviewer Rating: four and a half stars
Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

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Version Control by Dexter Palmer is a Science Fiction novel, heavy on the science side and low on the fantastic. The upside is the reader might learn more than a little about psychics along the way as they follow Rebecca and a handful of characters who work or live around the time machine Rebecca’s husband is attempting to create.

Like most real science, the device is going through trail after trail with no noticeable results. While the months pass, we get to know Rebecca and the other people who work with her husband Philip. The beginning of this novel allows us to learn the history and motivations of the cast long before anything unusual occurs. In many ways, this could be considered more of a modern literary novel than a science fiction book.

But just when you have almost forgotten you are reading a science fiction novel, a horrible event creates a catalyst for Rebecca and changes her whole life.

Another interesting aspect of this novel is it uses real science to punch holes in the slip shot time travel stories we might have read previously. It opens, as well as closes, vistas in regard to potential time travel, which most of us have not considered.

This novel is well thought-out, smart, and sharp. Possible downsides could be its length for some people, about 500 pages. I like long novels, although it is about twice the size of most books I have read this year.

Also, if you are looking for Star Wars or The Time Machine, this is not it.  If you want a slow and thoughtful look at the possibility of time travel through the eyes of well-developed characters, then this is one for you to pick up. Still it is a slow build and you go through about 300 pages before any hint of Science Fiction occurs.

I have already mentioned many of the positives you will find here. Palmer takes his time to bring forth characters who find themselves with access to make the impossible happen. If you want more science in your Science Fiction and enjoy playing with the pros and cons of time travel check this out.

Michael D. Griffiths

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