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Why Did the Time Change?

Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change. ~Thomas Hardy Having to “fall back” gets me discombobulated. I love getting up in the light, but I’m not so sure I like coming home in the dark. All this fiddling with our internal clock got me thinking about time travel...a popular fiction genre that was first employed by H.G. Wells. Here are three current novels that will send you spinning back and forth in time...making “falling back” seem like a piece of cake.

All our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai “Everyone knows to be careful when traveling through time because of the possibility of disastrously changing the past. One small misstep could ripple through history with a cataclysmic impact on the present. That’s the premise behind Elan Mastai’s amazing debut novel, All Our Wrong Todays, but it explores that old conundrum in fascinating new ways.” (The Washington Post) It's 2016, and in Tom Barren's world, technology has solved all of humanity's problems—there's no war, no poverty, no under-ripe avocados. Unfortunately, Tom isn't happy. He's lost the girl of his dreams. And what do you do when you're heartbroken and have a time machine? Something stupid. A fun romp through time.

The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz From Annalee Newitz, founding editor of io9, comes The Future of Another Timeline, a story of time travel, murder, and the lengths we'll go to protect the ones we love. It’s a punk-rock time-travel tale where The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. From NPR: “It has the rhythms of punk rock, the weird, stuttering speed of nostalgia, fierce bonds of friendship and a hard question strung all the way through it: If your past is your past and the story that brings you unerringly to this moment and the person that you are in it, what risk do you take in changing it? If your past changes, are you still the same person in the present? And, more importantly, do you want to be?”

The Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates The Hazards of Time Travel is an ingenious, dystopian novel of one young woman’s resistance against the constraints of an oppressive society, from the inventive imagination of Joyce Carol Oates. “Time travel” — and its hazards—are made literal in this astonishing new novel in which a recklessly idealistic girl dares to test the perimeters of her tightly controlled (future) world and is punished by being sent back in time to a region of North America — “Wainscotia, Wisconsin”—that existed eighty years before. Cast adrift in time in this idyllic Midwestern town she is set upon a course of “rehabilitation”—but cannot resist falling in love with a fellow exile and questioning the constraints of the Wainscotia world with results that are both devastating and liberating.

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