Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt


Science FictionTime Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt

Time Travelers Never DieJack McDevitt; Ace Books 2009WorldCat

Adrian “Shel” Shelborne’s father Michael has disappeared. His father’s lawyer gives him a letter from his father a couple weeks later. Michael told Shel to find some equipment left behind and to destroy it. Shel found the Q-pods but couldn’t destroy them. Instead he started experimenting. And discovered himself traveling through time.

He goes to his friend Dave Dryden. Dave has a classical education and can speak different languages. Shel wants Dave to go with him to hunt for his father in the time stream. Soon they discover how much fun it can be traveling through their history. And they learn the pitfalls they must avoid. Their biggest job is to avoid paradoxes. Instead of creating new realities, creating a paradox could kill them.

Then Dave awakes one morning to learn Shel has died in a fire. Although he can’t believe it, he has to. Even at the funeral he finds it difficult to believe. When he gets home, Shel comes out of the back room. They had matched Shel’s dental records so knew the body was his. But it isn’t the current day Shel – it happens some time in his future. It hits him hard and he tries to figure out a way to avoid that death.

Jack McDevitt’s Time Travelers Never Die is a fun read. After a visit to Selma, Alabama, during the fatal march for equality in 1965, they did their best to avoid getting involved in dangerous situations. They learned how interesting it was to meet famous people before they became famous. And while fun, this novel has its serious moments as well. They visit the Library in Alexandria, Michaelango, Martin Luther’s moment of defying the Church, Winston Churchill’s visit to New York City, and even the Borgias.

McDevitt is able to add some history and philosophy to his science fiction. It’s a wonderful blend in an entertaining novel.

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