As part of the Control Blog tour, today I’m really pleased welcome Kim Curran on the blog. Today she will be talking about her favourite time travelling books.
But before that lets have a look at Control (Shift #2) releasing next month.
Scott Tyler is not like other teenagers. With a single thought he can alter reality around him. And he can stop anyone else from doing the same.
That's why he's so important to ARES, the secret government agency that regulates other kids like him: Shifters.
They've sent him on a mission. To track down the enigmatic Frank Anderson. An ex-Shifter who runs a project for unusual kids - as if the ability to change your every decision wasn't unusual enough. But Anderson and the kids have a dark secret. One that Scott is determined to discover.
As his obsession with discovering the truth takes him further away from anyone he cares about, his grip on reality starts to weaken. Scott realises if he can't control his choices, they'll control him.
My Favourite Time Travelling Books
Playing with time is an idea that has fascinated storytellers for generations. The earliest stories that feature time travel are about characters being transported forward in time, either after waking up after a magical sleep or thanks to the machinations of a god. But as history progressed, our obsession with time became as much about altering our past as it did envisioning our future.
In my books, Shift and Control I play around with timey wimey ideas –while the main character can’t actually travel in time, he can change his past and thereby alter his present.
I grew up on Star Trek, Doctor Who and Back To The Future. But I didn’t actually read that many books that were specifically about time travel. (I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read A Wrinkle in Time, although it’s been sitting on my TBR pile for years.)
I did, however, almost exclusively read stories that had been written far in the past. Beowulf, Arthurian legends, the Odyssey and the Iliad, The Arabian Nights… The list goes on. Any book written or set in the past is in a way an act of time travel: of peering back into lives and times gone.
These led me on to reading fantasy books and from there, smoothly onto science fiction, where I gobbled up books about humans attempting to impose order on the one thing that eludes them: time.
There are many books about time I have enjoyed, but here’s a list of my favourites:
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was possibly the first book I read featuring time travel. In the story, the miser Scrooge is taken to his past, present and future by a series of ghosts. While Scrooge was powerless to change anything around him, he was changed by the experience. This idea of time being fixed and permanent and it is us who has to adapt around it, is one of the ideas I play with in my books.
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester is a re-telling of the Count of Monte Cristo set in the far future. In it, the main character realises as well as jaunting (teleporting) in space, as most people in his society can, he can also move through time. It’s staggeringly brilliant and one of the best science fiction novels ever written.
Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. I am a huge Pratchett fan and, like many people, Sam Vimes is my favourite character. In this book, Sam falls through a hole above the library in the Unseen University and is sent back in time. He meets his younger self and realises he’s going to be the man who taught him everything he knows. I love a good origin story and when combined with a classic time travel paradox, it’s even better. It’s my favourite Discworld book by far.
The Explorer by James Smythe. This is an exceptional novel about a lone man, in space in the mould of Moon or Space Odyssey: 2001. It’s hard to talk about the time aspects of this book without huge spoilers. So I’ll just say it’s freaking amazing and you should read it.
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes has taken the world by storm. And rightly so. It’s about a time-travelling serial killer, who moves back and forth in time tracking down and snuffing out the girls who ‘shine’. It’s dark, disturbing and one hell of a read.
That's some pretty awesome books that Kim mentioned. some of them are absolute classics.
So, check out the second book in the Shift series, Control by Kim Curran, releasing 6th of August by Strange Chemistry.
Preorder on Amazon here
Add on GoodReads here.