Time Traveler’s Never Die
Original Publication Date
Adrian Shelborne, Dave Dryden, Michael Shelborne
Although this is the only one of Jack McDevitt’s books I have read, I believe that it is the only one that specifically relates to time travel. However, his writing has been compared to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke so I would assume that science and/or fiction constitutes a major part of writing.
I discovered this book during my research and subsequent listing of books relating to one of my favorite subjects – Time Travel. A complete list of the over 200 books I have currently identified, written by over 100 different authors, can be found elsewhere on this blog. They can be found in two areas of the flyout menus located near the top of the left sidebar on the blog Home Page.
- All Things Time Travel > Time Travel Book & Movie Reviews
- Literature > Time Travel
I have included information about other blog posts I have made, and their location, in a section at the end of this post entitled … More about Time Travel Here on This Blog
Adrian Shelborne’s brilliant physicist of a father, Michael, disappears without any notification or indication of what might have happened to him. Some time later, Adrian receives an envelope which contains a message from his father as well as a key to a safe deposit box. His father’s lawyer tells Adrian that Michael’s instruction to him was that in the event of Michael’s disappearance, he should give the envelope to Adrian.
The note in the envelope tells Adrian that there are three items in the mailbox that Adrian should tell no one about, and that Adrian should immediately get them and destroy them upon receipt of this letter. Adrian goes to the rental box and retrieves three items that look something like game consoles. He has no idea what they are but is certainly intrigued.
After a bit of internal debate, Adrian decides to see what some of the buttons on the console do. He accidentally ends up sending himself from Philadelphia to a remote part of western Pennsylvania … and also a few hours later than what the watch he is wearing still shows. He calls his friend Dave Dryden who comes to pick him up and bring him back to Philadelphia.
Not really understanding at first what just happened, Adrian comes to the realization that his father invented some kind of time travelling devices. He travels back in time to when he last saw his father. After watching himself leave that meeting with his father, Adrian speaks with his father who immediately understands what just happened. He tells Adrian that he plans to use the device to go back in time, but he does not specify where or when he is headed. Adrian tells his father that he has not been seen since this night and that something must have gone wrong. Nevertheless, Michael tells Adrian that he is headed back in time.
When Adrian returns to the present, he realizes that he must somehow go back in time and determine what happened to his father. He enlists the aid and confidence of his friend Dave, and they initially go back to when Gallileo Gallelei was in his declining years, thinking that might be one of the places his father might go.
The rest of the story has both Adrian and Dave, sometimes together, sometimes separately, going both back and forward in time to try and find Michael Shelborne. In one travel, Dave ends up being beaten and arrested along with other civil rights’ marchers on the Edmund Pettis bridge when they attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama in 1965. However, the march ended abruptly on the Edmund Pettis bridge, and to this day is known as “Bloody Sunday” – a pivotal event in the American Civil Rights movement.
A Few Observations
What you quickly learn after reading a few books on time travel is that almost every author’s take on what time travel would actually look like is often very different. Not only are the machines they use to allow travel through time wonderfully diverse (from a DeLorean to a wardrobe closet, and everything in between) but each author’s take is different on how their time traveler treats their personal responsibility when travelling through time.
What I mean by that is that some time travelers are simply obsessed by some goal that they have – to find or to save a loved one, or to try and prevent some particular event from occurring. They really have no consideration for the rippling effects that their actions might have. They just want to try and achieve their goal.
In other writer’s hands, their time traveler is obsessed, and often frightened, by the enormous responsibility that this ability places on the traveler. They are often consumed by what the potential present day effects might be of any actions that they may take, either intentionally or not, while in the past. Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder is perhaps one of the first to really explore what has come to be popularly known as this “Butterfly Effect”.
In this book, McDevitt’s time travelers at first represent two, distinct views on what time travel means. On the one hand, Adrian certainly wants to find his father but he is also always aware of the potential effects that their actions might have. On the other hand, Dave has a much more emotional reaction to time travel. He looks at the possibilities of what might be able to be accomplished. But he also reacts much more emotionally when, as happens when he marches with the civil rights’ protesters on Bloody Sunday, he realizes how truly terribly unjust some past events really were, and how little ability he has to have any real effect on those events.
If you are a fan of time travel stories, as am I, I believe that you will be intrigued by McDevitt’s venture into this genre.
More About Time Travel Here on This Blog
As mentioned previously, elsewhere on my personal blog, I will be maintaining alphabetical lists, by author and title, of books I have either read, or of which I am aware, which involve time travel in some fashion.
These will be living, growing lists going forward. I am fairly confident that my initial lists include most of the best known novels about time travel, and quite a few lesser known ones as well. But I am under no illusion that I have identified them all.
If you check the lists and don’t see a book about time travel that you know of, please do let me know and I would be happy to add it to my list. Just email the book title and the author’s name to firstname.lastname@example.org .
I have posted blogs with three versions of this Time Travel book list. You can find all of them by selecting flyout menus from near the top of the left sidebar on the Home Page of my blog – pearlsnmblog.wordpress.com.
- An alphabetical list of Time Travel books by
- All Things Time Travel > Time Travel Book Lists > Books Relating to Time Travel (Alphabetical by Author)
- An alphabetical list of Time Travel books by book title.
- All Things Time Travel > Time Travel Book Lists > Books Relating to Time Travel (Alphabetical by Book Title)
- An alphabetical list of Time Travel books including plot synopses.
- All Things Time Travel > Time Travel Books > AN ALPHABETICAL LIST BY TITLE OF OVER 200 BOOKS RELATING TO TIME TRAVEL (INCL. A PLOT SYNOPSIS)
The third of those three posts mentioned may include a brief synopsis of each book so that you may decide whether or not the author’s particular take on time travel is something in which you may be interested. I certainly don’t expect you to be interested in all of these books just because they deal with time travel in some way.
- I certainly have my own preferences and these synopses enable me to sort through and find books that appeal to my specific areas of interest.
- One thing I have found interesting in my research, and which I try to include in this list, are how books often cross-reference with other books in the genre.
- For example, when researching the classic book, The Time Machine by the grandfather of Time Travel books, H.G. Wells, I discovered that there were a number of other excellent books not only relating to Time Travel, but also some relating specifically to the world created by Wells.
- The foremost of those is a book titled The Time Ships, and written by Stephen Baxter. That is a sequel to the original Time Machine, authorized by the Wells estate, of which I had been previously unaware.
- I have also discovered that there were sequels written, also of which I was not aware, to other Time Travel books I have enjoyed reading in the past.
If I am aware of, or may have discovered during research, some tidbits of information about the book, or about the author, I will include those in my posts as well.
If no synopsis is included, then I am still in the process of researching it. If there is a more lengthy plot description, or even a link to a full review on my blog, such as this one, it is very likely because I have personally read the book.
If I include a full description of the book, including spoilers, I will clearly precede that description with the following icon …
More posts I have written about Time Travel may also be found by selecting the flyout menus in the top left sidebar on the Home Page of my personal blog.
- All Things Time Travel > Time Travel Books > time travel book and movie reviews
- These posts include often lengthy reviews of both books that I have read, and movies that I have seen, relating to Time Travel.
- All Things Time Travel > Time Travel Books > time travel movies
- These posts include reviews specifically for just movies that I have seen, either in theaters, or on DVD, relating to Time Travel.
- Literature > Time Travel
- These posts include reviews specifically for just books that I have read relating to Time Travel.