Archive for the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Category

The Story Behind The Story

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

As I’ve said before, I’m a better writer than I am a marketer.  That’s not to say I’m necessarily a brilliant writer, just that one skill outshines the other.

On the Timely Persuasion website, I periodically play around with “The Story” section at the top in an attempt to get the best mix of marketing bang plus factual synopsis.  At one point a few months ago I had a late night inspiration and tried a long, rambly, semi in-character and semi as-author version.  Days later I took it down and revised in a simpler direction.

In the interest of a complete permanent record, here’s that longer aborted version:

One early reviewer hit the nail on the head when they said the story of Timely Persuasion has “a premise that is very difficult to summarize in a review.”  That said, I’ll give it a shot below:

Timely Persuasion follows an anonymous music critic on a quest to save his sister from the relationship that ended her life. After a chance encounter at a bowling alley leaves him with the ability to travel in time, our hero uses his musical knowledge to “blink” through the years attempting to keep the couple apart by any means necessary. But is her husband Nelson really to blame?

Along the way he accidentally restructures his family tree, kick-starts his sagging love life, launches a new rock star, and crosses paths with the likes of Huey Lewis, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and Billy Joel. Reliving past events through the eyes of his younger selves, he soon finds that correlation and causation are not always what they seem.

This story of death, life, love, and rock and roll defies genre conventions while paying tribute to the classic time travel tales that came before it. Fans of Quantum Leap or Back To The Future will love Timely Persuasion.

Another reviewer read a version of the above synopsis and had this to say:

“To be blunt, Timely Persuasion‘s misleading plot blurb makes a fun novel sound absolutely cheesy. Happily, Timely Persuasion absolutely does not go down this road [and] ends up being much more enjoyable than the the above description had led me to expect.”

So we’ve learned that I’m a better author than I am a marketer.  Let’s try this synopsis thing again:

Theorizing that his sister’s death was the fault of her husband, an anonymous music critic drank too much at a bowling alley….and vanished.

He awoke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that omit him and driven by a guilty conscience to change history for the better.

His only guides on this journey are song lyrics, cryptic messages linking past and future that only he can see and hear.

And so our hero finds himself blinking from year to year, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next blink will find his sister safe at home.

Ok. That wasn’t much better since I just parodied the intro to Quantum Leap.  But it is a decent summary, and both QL and Back To the Future were heavy influences that the story pays respectful homage to.  One more try:

On the simplest level, this book is about music and bowling and beer and regrets and relationships and time travel.  It’s a love letter to a misspent youth, peppered with a soundtrack for the ages.  Contained in these pages you’ll find references and allusions to the music of (in rough order of appearance): Huey Lewis, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Harry Chapin, The Beatles, Blur, Carter USM, Cast, Supergrass, Black Grape, Oasis, James, Kula Shaker, The Wonder Stuff, Nirvana, Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Possum Dixon, Pearl Jam, The Offspring, Rodan, Hole, Beck, Reverend Horton Heat, Butthole Surfers, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, 311, Jonathan Edwards, Soul Coughing, Metallica, G. Love & Special Sauce, Paul McCartney, Anthrax, Mary’s Danish, The Mr. T Experience, Bryan Adams, John Waite, Dinosaur Jr., The Moody Blues, Billy Idol, Paula Abdul, Britney Spears, Afghan Whigs, Guns N Roses, Jimi Hendrix, Don McLean, Pantera, Megadeth, Janice Joplin, Jim Morrison, Wilco and more.

Better?  Summarizing seems almost harder than writing the book was.  It’ll make a heck of a lot more sense once you’ve read it.  Let’s finish up by going back to something else that first reviewer said:

“Think Back to the Future.  Think The Butterfly Effect.  Think…oh just read the book already.  It’s pretty good.”

Sounds more like a blog post than a proper story synopsis, eh?

The Quantum Leap Connection

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

I pointed out a few times in the commentary posts that Quantum Leap was a big influence of mine.  It’s even specifically referred to in the book more than once.  What I haven’t talked about in depth is how Quantum Leap (and more specifically, Al the holographic observer) served as the genesis for the time travel mechanics I utilized in Timely Persuasion.

I’ve always felt that Al Calavicci had the sweetest time travel deal of any character.  He had all of the excitement and wonder, but as a hologram he didn’t have any of the danger.  No risk of injury, no risk of paradox, no risk of being stranded (though that did happen once…).  Virtually everything that could go wrong was accounted for.

Since I had given this a lot of thought over the years, and since it was never fully explored on the show, I decided this would be a good starting point for how my hero’s time travel “science” would work.  The problem lied in the fact that only allowing someone to observe but not interact made for a fairly boring story as a whole.  You could learn some valuable things just by watching, but there wouldn’t really be any way to “act” on what you learned in the past.  (Conversely, if you were able to “observe” the future you could act on what you learned upon returning to the present.  But I’ve never been a big fan of future travel in time travel tales.)  So I had a basis, but some modification was necessary.

Al’s rules did have a couple of notable exceptions.  Animals and young children could see and hear him.  I didn’t want to outright copy this, though giving the narrator some sort of interaction was necessary to move the story forward.  Then I remembered one of the most common “rules” of time travel fiction:  Avoid contact with your past self at all costs.  Sometimes this rule is implied but never explored, sometimes it results in an end of the world paradox, and sometimes it serves as a red herring to deliver a twist ending.  But generally speaking, every author (and scientist) tends to call it out as something you shouldn’t do.  And that’s when it hit me.

What if the only person you could interact with while time traveling was yourself?

It was a unique premise I hadn’t seen explored before.  It would nicely set up some tribute scenes in a Sam & Al interactive style.  It allowed the ability to change a timeline, but generally provided protection from paradox so long as you didn’t manage to get your other self killed.  Plus it fit logically with the “subconscious message from your future self” concept I had been kicking around and wasn’t quite ready to abandon.

It was perfect.

Buddha Blessed?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Some astute readers have pointed out that the narrator’s journey has an uncanny similarity to the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism.  To learn more about this concept, visit Wikipedia or read The Way to End Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi.   For an analysis of how this fits into the story of Timely Persuasion, read on.

1.  Right View
The Prologue, featuring the narrator’s views on life and love and the situation of his sister.

From the Bodhi text:

“The importance of right view can be gauged from the fact that our perspectives on the crucial issues of reality and value have a bearing that goes beyond mere theoretical convictions. They govern our attitudes, our actions, our whole orientation to existence. Our views might not be clearly formulated in our mind; we might have only a hazy conceptual grasp of our beliefs. But whether formulated or not, expressed or maintained in silence, these views have a far-reaching influence. They structure our perceptions, order our values, crystallize into the ideational framework through which we interpret to ourselves the meaning of our being in the world.”

2.  Right Intention
Our narrator means well in all of his meddling, from his overprotectiveness of his sister to his objecting, and even in his involvement with setting his sister up with Nelson to begin with.

Bodhi:

“The Buddha explains right intention as threefold: the intention of renunciation, the intention of good will, and the intention of harmlessness.  The three are opposed to three parallel kinds of wrong intention: intention governed by desire, intention governed by ill will, and intention governed by harmfulness.  Each kind of right intention counters the corresponding kind of wrong intention.”

The narrator has the 3 right intentions, whereas he has convinced himself (possibly incorrectly) that Nelson has the 3 wrong intentions.

3.  Right Speech
Literally, the objection speech at the wedding.  Figuratively, his failed attempts revolve around slandering Nelson to a degree, even though “slander” is the wrong word since his comments ares based on facts and observances.  It also revolves around lying to his other selves regarding what is going on.

“The Buddha divides right speech into four components: abstaining from false speech, abstaining from slanderous speech, abstaining from harsh speech, and abstaining from idle chatter.”

In the end, both the old and young narrator speak the truth and achieve much more satisfactory results, culminating in the honest telling of the full tale, but minimizing idle chatter by not naming names.  They need to find the “right speech” in order to succeed.

4.  Right Action
He abstains (albeit inadvertently) from most of his past relationships as a part of his quest.  He diverges from this path with the redheaded girl and his attempt to eliminate Nelson, but later traps Nelson rather than killing him as he completes this stage.  He also decides not to pursue the redheaded girl in the end.

“Right action means refraining from unwholesome deeds that occur with the body as their natural means of expression. The pivotal element in this path factor is the mental factor of abstinence, but because this abstinence applies to actions performed through the body, it is called “right action.”  The Buddha mentions three components of right action: abstaining from taking life, abstaining from taking what is not given, and abstaining from sexual misconduct.”

5.  Right Livelihood
At one point he uses the wrong livelihood in stealing the songs to teach his father, but in the end undoes this change to move to the proper path of setting things right. (The songs could also tie in to “taking what is not given” as described above.)

“For a lay disciple the Buddha teaches that wealth should be gained in accordance with certain standards. One should acquire it only by legal means, not illegally; one should acquire it peacefully, without coercion or violence; one should acquire it honestly, not by trickery or deceit; and one should acquire it in ways which do not entail harm and suffering for others”

6.  Right Effort
His efforts are focused on preventing and abandoning the bad aspects while creating and maintaining the good.

Wikipedia:

In this factor, the practitioners should make a persisting effort to abandon all the wrong and harmful thoughts, words, and deeds.The four phases of right effort mean:

  1. make effort to prevent the unwholesome that has not yet arisen in oneself.
  2. make effort to destroy the unwholesome that has arisen in oneself.
  3. make effort to arouse the wholesome that has not yet arisen in oneself.
  4. make effort to maintain the wholesome that has arisen in oneself.

7.  Right Mindedness
Discovering the ultimate truths regarding what has been going on, accepting them, and using the new knowledge to act on them.

Bodhi:

“The Buddha says that the Dharma, the ultimate truth of things, is directly visible, timeless, calling out to be approached and seen. He says further that it is always available to us, and that the place where it is to be realized is within oneself. The ultimate truth, the Dharma, is not something mysterious and remote, but the truth of our own experience. It can be reached only by understanding our experience, by penetrating it right through to its foundations. This truth, in order to become liberating truth, has to be known directly.”

This is also echoed in how we start with full body time travel, and evolve (de-volve?) to headtrip travel of the mind.

“Though no fixed order is laid down in which they are to be taken up, the body is generally taken first as the basic sphere of contemplation; the others come into view later, when mindfulness has gained in strength and clarity.”

8.  Right Concentration
All of the various deep thoughts and self analysis that goes on in his inner monologue throughout the novel, as well as the specific “right concentration” required to travel in time.

“Concentration represents an intensification of a mental factor present in every state of consciousness. This factor, one-pointedness of mind (citt’ekaggata), has the function of unifying the other mental factors in the task of cognition. It is the factor responsible for the individuating aspect of consciousness, ensuring that every citta or act of mind remains centered on its object.  Even then its range is still narrower: it does not signify every form of wholesome concentration, but only the intensified concentration that results from a deliberate attempt to raise the mind to a higher, more purified level of awareness.”

————–

Pretty interesting how all of those deeper themes could be embedded into a musically infused time travel adventure, eh?

Guess what?

It’s all a coincidence.

I’d never heard of the 8 truths until I was several drafts into the book, and never consciously tried to modify anything to work them in.

Makes you wonder how many other times works of art or literature are analyzed for deeper hidden meanings that aren’t really there.

Commentary: Prologue (Reprise)

Friday, August 1st, 2008

There’s a little epilogue to my tale of sadness.  Originally I used the typical Prologue/Epilogue pairing.  Later I changed them both to Prologue to emphasize that they were sort of the same chapter as told before and after the events of the book.  I didn’t really like losing the song titles as chapter titles theme (though there are numerous songs with titles of “Prologue” and “Epilogue”), but compromised with the parenthetical “reprise” at the end.  Sometimes I think “Encore” would have been better…

Other tidbits:

  • I wrote this chapter out of sequence from the rest, probably just before starting the hospital chapters.
  • According to the old man, the sister never married the “first” time around.  So this new history isn’t actually setting everything back to how it originally was, but instead a third variation.
  • Note that her husband doesn’t have a name, whereas previously Nelson was the only named character in the entire book.  Note also that in the previous chapter the narrator tells us he’s naming Nelson because “hate needs a name.”  Does this mean that she has a different husband, or that her husband is still Nelson but he’s no longer hated?
  • This coda is intentionally ambiguous, and in this final commentary post I’m being intentionally coy.  Without giving too much of my intent away I’ll just say this:  I definitely know how the story ends, but I don’t know if this is actually the end of the story or not since there might be a sequel.  Until that’s decided, either interpretation above is valid.  (Ask me next February 29th and I might change my answer.)
  • There is only one musical reference in this short chapter, hinting at the fact that music may not be a big part of the narrator’s life this time around.

Read Prologue (Reprise) Online

Buy the Paperback

Commentary 26: Across 26 Winters

Friday, July 25th, 2008

And we’ve almost come to the end.  Generally speaking, endings are tough.  You need to tie up as many dangling threads as possible, leave the reader satisfied that reading the book was worthwhile, and try to go out on a memorable high note without it feeling abrupt or forced.  Let’s see how I did…

  • So, what happens here?  After the bowling alley meeting in the last chapter, the old man blinked forward to the hospital where the narrator was on the old time machine.  He injected him with the syringe (that he still had in his possession from a version of the experiment in the further future), then grabbed him tightly by the arms to cut off his circulation.  This traps him back in time much like Nelson, but also gives him a little more control over his predicament with the addition of the injection.
  • He wakes up back on his couch with his headphones on, exactly where he was before his second time travel trip back in Chapter 3.  The intent is to tease/suggest that it was all a dream, even though it definitely wasn’t.
  • Being able to switch to the second person after writing everything prior in the first person was very energizing.
  • The original ending used to be very different starting at the point immediately after the narrator hears “Won One” on the radio.
  • Having Nelson on a date with the redheaded girl in a new alternate timeline serves as a reminder that Nelson is still out there, as well as an illustration that the narrator was able to at least partly let go of both of his obsessions.
  • I like the “confident confidant” line, as well as “were my romantic misses actually my missus?”  Ah, wordplay.
  • Couldn’t resist the random “I am somewhere in the city, I am climbing up a fire escape” M. Ward lyric even though it had no bearing on the story.  In an earlier draft I had the entire “I Am” poem here, but realized that was overkill.
  • “Why do I end up in the car so much?” is specifically for Nate Pepper’s benefit.  As I said before, he once pointed out that every story I write has a scene in a car.
  • The “little sister got a boyfriend” line that the narrator remembers is a G. Love lyric from the future relative to when this scene takes place, with the implication being that his future self made him say it previously.
  • I love how the opening lines to the final little section form a neat little triangle/pyramid type shape.
  • The “big reveal” if you want to call it that is the fact that our “narrator” has been secretly writing the entire book to himself from inside his own head and hiding it on a computer.  There are a few hints to this scattered within the text of the earlier chapters.
  • The most interesting place to compare the alternate ending linked above to the actual ending is in the part about the characters not having names.  The first version felt too bitter and vindictive, as if the narrator hadn’t actually learned from his experience.  Here it is a little more subdued.  Yes, he still hates Nelson.  But he realizes that it’s not all that important in the scheme of things, and that it wasn’t all that rational to begin with.  “Maybe it doesn’t really matter in the long run.”  Once he’s learned to let go and not try to have everything both ways, he’s finally free to have a happy ending.
  • “Hate needs a name” is also a possible clue to unlocking the epilogue.
  • I am the walrus.
  • There are 36 known musical references in this chapter.

Read Chapter Twenty-Six Online

Commentary 25: 25 Minutes To Go

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

One last blink to set things right, and our hero finally learns enough to know what has to be done.  I sort of knew from the beginning that the story would more or less start and end at the bowling alley, and that comes to fruition here.

Other tidbits:

  • My wife’s favorite excerpt is the  “sea of red liquid” paragraph.
  • The first part of this chapter is occurring simultaneously with Local Boy’s blink in the previous chapter.  As soon as Local Boy makes his change, the timeline ripples around the narrator.  This serves to illustrate and confirm what the old man had described about the timeline just changing around a displaced time traveler who is protected from paradox.
  • Have you figured out the meaning of the lottery numbers yet?  I’ll post the answer in the comments…
  • The paragraph regarding the building blocks of time travel is spooky since the underlying time travel theory in the book really does serve to explain psychic ability, conscience, reflex, love at first sight, impulse purchases, schizophrenia, instinct, déjà vu and alcohol induced blackouts when you think about it.
  • The tease here is that he’ll play the lottery and win, but that would be so cliche I couldn’t actually have him do it.
  • Yes, I know that Jack Daniel’s technically isn’t bourbon.
  • Turning the tables on the first meeting between the older and younger counterparts was fun.
  • There are 12 known musical references in this short chapter.

Read Chapter Twenty-Five Online

Commentary 24: 24 Hour Party People

Monday, July 14th, 2008

We get a little time travel heavy at the start of this chapter as far as “rules” go, but later move into some hands-on fun as Local Boy revisits his origins with an eye on trying to undo them.

Other tidbits:

  • I admit the cliffhanger in the previous chapter was a bit of a tease that’s quickly resolved here.  But I did find it interesting to explore what may be happening to alternate timelines that are “left behind” each time a character blinks.  These dangling threads are often ignored in most time travel tales.
  • When the old man extends his theory to say we saw the narrator die outside the bar when he passed out, he’s actually wrong.  What we really saw was the a time traveling mind controlling a drunken host, and when the sober mind vanishes he literally passes out.  It always drives me crazy that “theories” presented in fiction on a whim always turn out to be true, so I intentionally made the old man be wrong for the right reason here.
  • “I was wrong.  And I could be wrong again” is more music from the future spoken by the old man.  Fitting that it’s Paul Simon, showing that the same old favorites will continue to be followed.
  • “Infinite Perfection” was a title I considered for the book based on the line in this chapter.  Prior to that I was back and forth between “Timeless Persuasion” and “Timely Persuasion.” I actually Googled both at one point and decided to go with Timeless since there was a horse named Timely Persuasion, but I must have forgotten about it later and flip-flopped.  The inspiration for the “Persuasion” part comes from the song “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James and the Shondells.
  • The Dad’s blink was tough to write about in the context of the book since everything else is in the first person.  It didn’t make sense to break convention for this, so it had to be told from the perspective of one of the versions of the narrator.  In the end I cheated a little with a third person telling followed by a first person caveat of “At least that’s the way part of my brain remembers the story now.”
  • Dad’s blink is inspired by how they revisit the first movie in Back to the Future Part II.
  • I’ve mentioned the possibility of a sequel previously.  I have a general idea of how it would work and how it could expand upon this first story, but in all honesty I don’t really know if I’ll ever get around to writing it.  However, I do know this:  If there is a sequel, the title will most likely be “Nelsonification” after the secret word provided by the Doctor.
  • There are 25 musical references in this chapter.

Read Chapter Twenty-Four Online

Adventures in Customer Service

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Yesterday morning I woke up to an email from Coverville’s Brian Ibbott pointing me to a blog post that referenced Timely Persuasion:

Customer Service – Compare and Contrast (Most of the relevant content is crossed out – a good thing I’ll get to in a minute…)

The owner of the blog had heard about the book on Coverville and purchased it.  But when the book arrived, it had the correct cover but the incorrect interior.  The pages were for a different book altogether!

The paperbacks are printed on demand via Lulu, so these things happen on occasion.  I’ve heard of one other instance where this happened with my book, and that time it was resolved quickly and painlessly by Lulu.

But not this time.  As the blog post details, Lulu demanded visual evidence of the defect by either scanning or photographing portions of the book.  They also promised a followup from someone and a week had passed with no further contact.  All the poor guy wants to do is read my $15 time travel novel and it suddenly turns into a huge ordeal.

Upon reading this I immediately jumped into customer service mode by posting a reply comment letting him know I’d file a complaint on his behalf and in the meantime I’d be happy to send him a free autographed copy for the trouble.  Although technically I know that as the author I shouldn’t need to dole out compensation for Lulu’s mistakes, my past (and likely future) work experience kicked in and said “Take care of the customer first, figure out what went wrong and prevent it from recurring second.” And although the error was Lulu’s and not mine, I feel I do bear some responsibility for selecting Lulu as a partner.  But above everything else for me at that moment was not losing a reader over the snafu, and I figured I could sort out my own reimbursement with Lulu if necessary.  Fortunately it didn’t come to that.

I posted the problem to the Lulu support forum; 90 minutes later I had an email from Angela Hooper, an assistant manager saying this was certainly not the policy and assuring me it was an isolated incident that she’d address after making things right for the customer.  She kept me in the loop during her contacts with him, compensated me for the trouble as well, and later in the day the blogger struck-through his first post and added this new entry:

Way to Go Lulu.com!!! – Making Things Right

I find it most interesting how the resolution was a team effort all around.  Thanks to Brian for the heads up that got the ball rolling, Angela for stepping up to the plate to set everything right (with both the customer and myself), and Scott for being such a good sport about the whole mishap.

All’s well that ends well.

Commentary 23: 23:59 End Of The World

Monday, July 7th, 2008

I’m stuck on an introduction for this chapter, so let’s just dive straight in:

  • Nelson had served his purpose in the story, so putting him on the machine and making him go comatose was mostly just to get him out of the way.  His fate is intentionally left ambiguous just in case he needs to be resurrected for a sequel.  It also served to foreshadow the ultimate ending a little bit, though at the time this wasn’t the plan.  I guess you could say it both foreshadowed and inspired the eventual ending.
  • The adult version of Local Boy has inherited his son’s penchant for quoting song lyrics, though he only quotes Local Boy songs.
  • I actually hadn’t realized that the “in head” travel as described was a lot like Being John Malkovich until I wrote that sentence, but decided that it was a description the audience would relate to and left it in as a tribute.
  • In the beginning I really didn’t want to resort to alternate dimensions as part of the time travel theory, but it seems that in the end every story has to end up there to a certain degree.  This world’s alternatives are much like the BTTF equivalents.  Once you’ve branched the timeline, that new branch is “real” to you and you can never get back to the original one.  So time is both linear and malleable at the same time.  Then again, this is all theoretical. 🙂
  • The narrator realizes that if/when he sets everything right, once his future self returns to his “present” he’ll essentially be replaced.  Thus far many of the problems have been caused by his being well intentioned but wanting to have it both ways (set up his sister and fix his own love life; eliminate Nelson and make Dad a rock star).  He needs to accept that “winning” for the greater good may involve a “loss” for himself.  A turning point for his character begins here.
  • In the first draft there were forty something chapters and almost every one ended with a cliffhanger, mainly to keep me amused and motivated at the end of each writing session.  Around the third or fourth draft I started to realize that the chapters were a little too short and the cliffhangers were often unnecessary.  I combined a lot of chapters to eliminate these false ends and be more consistent in lengths, but then the later chapters lacked a little bit of punch.  The father’s death twist was added to infuse some surprise into the final section.
  • There are 27 known musical references in this chapter.

Read Chapter Twenty-Three Online

Commentary 22: 22 Days

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

The path to resolution begins here, and the narrator finally has his long awaited confrontation with Nelson.

Other tidbits:

  • We learn that the only reason a paradox hasn’t occurred is because the old man is still “displaced” in time.  Since the old man and the young narrator are the same person, time allows both of them to be protected so long as one is displaced.  In the simplest terms, if the old man was in his “present” when the narrator returned to this new body that would be the end.  The old man’s reluctance to go home is the only thing that allowed our hero to retain his consciousness despite his obvious genetic changes.  (I wish I had a clearer way to explain this.  Readers seem to be a little iffy on it except for hard core time travel geeks like me…)
  • There used to be a terrible scene with a lie detector test and a tape recording of a one way conversation just after the doctor shows up.  Read it at your own risk here.
  • The best thing to come from that aborted scene is the doctor’s “Thoughtful/Angry/Crazy man” speech, which I really like and salvaged in the final draft.
  • I also really like the soliloquy on hate the narrator gives in this chapter.  It’s one of his stronger rants exploring how hatred in general is often silly or baseless, much like his hatred of Nelson.  Fun fact:  My friend BoRyan found this scene to be fascinating, mainly because he has never felt hatred for anyone in his entire life.
  • Originally the time travel project started several years later as explained previously by the old man.  Here we learn the flipside of it from the doctor, who was visited by his future self and advised to start laying the groundwork earlier.  This is why the narrator is drawn into the project at a younger age.
  • The other thing that can be teased out of the doctor’s explanation of the earlier start is why there was a syringe during the narrator’s first brief hospital trip but not this time.  Using a similar strategy to that of the protagonist, first the doctor brought the full time travel technology back early.  Something went wrong, so he went further back and only gave hints and watched future travelers.  We’ve seen both timelines in the book.  The old man alludes to this when he says “Unless he did originally and has since undone it.”
  • “Revelity” is a word invented by a former colleague named Craig Bowers.  I may owe him a small royalty for using it…
  • There are 31 musical references in this chapter.

Read Chapter Twenty-Two Online