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Month in review

Reviews
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
Big Dog...Little Dog: A Bedtime Story by P.D. Eastman
The Book Stops Here by Kate Carlisle
By Motor to the Golden Gate by Emily Post
Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett
Cleopatra in Space: The Golden Lion by Mike Maihack
Cotton Tenants: Three Families by James Agee
Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis by Charise Mericle Harper
Demon, Volume 3 by Jason Shiga
The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
The Fog by Kyo Maclear
The Great Good Summer by Liz Garton Scanlon
Lumberjanes, Volume 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson
Max Versus The Cube by Hanne Türk
Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle
Once Upon a Thriller by Carolyn Keene
The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess
A Perfect Day by Lane Smith
Practical Artistry: Light & Exposure for Digital Photographers by Harold Davis
Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eagar
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
Say No to Murder by Nancy Pickard
Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett
Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
The Stone Warriors by Michael Northrop
The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Under the Dragon's Tail by Maureen Jennings
The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 02)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 09)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 16)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 23)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 30)
September 2017 Sources
September 2017 Summary

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



All Our Wrong Todays: 10/31/17

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai is set in "present day, present time" as Serial Experiments Lain would put it. But it's written from the perspective of a character who knows a better present and due to his lazy ass participation in time travel as screwed the pooch. No — he wasn't responsible for Trump (because he's Canadian) — but he is responsible for the serious lack of flying cars and other cool shit the 1950s promised.

Tom Barren is the son of the man who invented the time machine. He comes from a world with infinite energy thanks to Göttreider Engine — a machine first turned on in 1963 in San Francisco. The machine's ever present hum has also left a traceable set of breadcrumbs, allowing for time travel which includes not only travel through time, but space. You can see where this is going. It's quantum physics 101.

At it's most basic, All Our Wrong Todays is a fun time travel book. It's and entertaining addition to books like Meanwhile by Jason Shiga and The Man in the Empty Suit by Sean Ferrell, or The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold.

But — it's also in it's own way, a road narrative, and one that is still causing me to rethink, or rather, refine how I think about the different tropes and characters. Early on, as Tom is explaining how he broke the universe, he says: "Every person you meet introduces the accident of that person to you. What can go right and what can go wrong. There is no intimacy without consequence."

Create a car, create car crashes. Create plane, create plane crashes. It's that inevitable opposition that stands in sharp relief — a further way of understanding the trope wheel of the road narrative. Whether it's an accident or an invention is a matter of perspective.

Character progression as a function of locational tropes.

Toronto as a destination goes from utopia, to a tourist destination, to a dystopia, to a realistic urban representation.

Though Tom presents our 2016 as his dystopia, as he learns more about time travel and tries to fix his mistake, he grows comfortable with his situation, thus allowing him to accept that his journey is over. His trip starts in a utopian Toronto, and while he ends up back in Toronto, it's not the highly advanced, mostly automated one that he left. It's not the family he left either but it is a family, one that loves him and is willing to work with him to make a new, better future — not an exact replica of what he left, but a variation on themes.

Five stars

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