Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The ten least competent time travelers

At io9, Rob Bricken came up with a list of the ten least competent time travelers, including:
Brendon Doyle and J. Cochran Darrow, The Anubis Gates

In Tim Powers' very strange time travel novel, wealthy but dying industrialist J. Cochran Darrow finds a portal to the 1880s, and hires literary scholar Brendon Doyle to check it out. Doyle immediately misses the portal back to the present; how does he acquit himself with his modern knowledge and foresight of major events? He becomes a bum. Seriously, he can't manage to even get a job washing dishes at the local tavern until, thanks to a werewolf who can transfer people's minds, he ends up in the body of one of the poets he's studied. Meanwhile, the dying Darrow sets himself up as an 1880s industrialist, and works with the werewolf to receive new, healthy bodies. Look, I feel this should be obvious, but if your time travel plan is wholly dependent on a mind-swapping werewolf, do not make that goddamned plan.
Read about another novel on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue