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Man in the Empty Suit: 08/29/13

cover art

Time travel stories fall somewhere between two extremes: the NEVER let the traveler cross his time stream and being able to cross repeatedly without consequences. Man in the Empty Suit by Sean Ferrell falls near to the no consequences side.

The un-named protagonist has been visiting the same hotel on his 100th birthday for a number of years. The event has become a convention for all his previous and future versions. But this time, one version of himself has been found murdered.

When there are potentially infinite versions of a character, it's very easy to end up in a world populated by nothing but that character. See for example, The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold or Meanwhile by Jason Shiga. All of those versions end up cluttering the scenery.

So the murder mystery is Ferrell's out. When the a version of the MC is found dead and that for the sake of the timeline and our MC's memories, possibly be, then there's a reason to explore beyond the bounds of the hotel and beyond the bounds of this repetitive timeline.

I'm taking one star off because I though the repetitive timeline aspect (the first half) of the book took too long. That concept has been done so many times before. It's not until after the murder that Man in the Empty Suit differentiates itself.

Four stars

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