Delivered to me yesterday, sitting in the mail closet in the office waiting for me to pick it up, was a thick package from Atria (which I tore into). Inside I found an advance copy of The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma - a 612 page tome with a beautifully victorian/steam punkian (steam punkish?) cover and tucked in beside it, a copy of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. Nice PR touch Atria (very nice).
Part One of The Map of Time begins with a note to the reader, stating "Welcome, dear reader, as you plunge into the thrilling pages of our melodrama where you will find adventures of which you never dreamt! If like any reasonable person you believe that time is a river sweeping away all that is born towards the darkest shore, in these pages you will discover that the past can be revisited, that mankind can retrace his footsteps thanks to a machine that can travel through time. Your emotion and astonishment are guaranteed."
It's hard to not immediately read on. Unfortunately, I have three books to read before I can get to it; and since I was warned how addictive this book can be, I forced myself to set it aside for now.
I curiously picked up the copy of The Time Machine which I vaguely recall reading in ninth grade. I opened it and (re)read the first sentence, forgetting how pedestrian writing has become (or perhaps how pompous it was then). Whatever the case, I rejoiced in:
"The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us...." and "Our chairs, being his patents, embraced and caressed us rather than submitted to be sat upon...."Oh language, how we do so forget you.
From the back cover of The Map of Time:
Set in Victorian London with characters real and imagined, The Map of Time is a page-turner that boasts a triple play of intertwined plots in which a skeptical H.G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence. What happens if we change history? Félix J. Palma explores this question in The Map of Time, weaving a historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting -- a story full of love and adventure that transports readers to a haunting Victorian London for their own taste of time travel.The Map of Time was first published in Spain by Algaida Editores and received the 2008 Ateneo de Sevilla XL Prize. It is being released in the U.S. June 28, 2011.
Labels: fantasy, Felix J. Palma, Historical Fiction, In the Post, Mail, science fiction, summer reading, The Map of Time, Time Travel