The Trauma of Time Travel

Time Salvager by Wesley Chu
Written by Wesley Chu

My job as a novelist requires that I write books. Inspiration be damned. It’s great to have inspiration, but it’s not a job requirement.

That said, storytelling is my only worthy contribution to society. I’m basically unemployable. I have resigned myself to the fact that in the zombie apocalypse, I’m the guy they’ll use as a decoy while the doctor, soldier, farmer, lawyer, and Labrador retriever escape to safety.

It is no surprise, however, that I am often asked “What’s the inspiration for your book?”

Whenever I see that question, my brain melts. Just a little. The honest answer is I want to eat and pay my mortgage and my dog needs a new sweater. Part of that statement is a lie; Airedale Terriers never need sweaters. Remember that, folks. Airedales wearing sweaters have poser parents.

However, in the case of Time Salvager, I’m going to make an exception. I love telling this book’s origin story because it comes from an experience that changed my life.

I warn you, it’s kind of sad.

The idea came from an article I read about a South African photo-journalist named Kevin Carter. He took a very iconic photo (warning: graphic) of a child in the Sudan Famine crawling toward an aid station. There’s a vulture behind the child, just hopping along, waiting for him to die. At the time, Kevin thought it was his job to record the events but not to intervene. He took the picture and left. He won a Pulitzer for that photograph and then committed suicide a few months later. Some of the facts have been subsequently contested, but that was the version I read at the time.

It’s the kind of story that stays with you. Sometime later, I dreamt that I was a time traveler on the Titanic. I had jumped in a few days prior and my mission was to steal the Hope Diamond. I was supposed to steal the diamond just as the ship was sinking, so that all traces of my activities would be washed away by the disaster. In the dream, I spent days interacting and befriending the crew and passengers as I tried to locate the diamond, knowing full well they were all doomed to die when the ship sank. They were all dead-people walking.

But, it wasn’t my job to intervene.

And I didn’t.

I woke up right as the ship sank (not sure if I ever found the diamond), knowing all those people were going to die and I couldn’t do anything to help them. I experienced an overwhelming sense of sadness. It was a short jump from there to Time Salvager. Jumping back in time, before disasters, to retrieve important items, seemed like a great use of time travel without actually changing history.

I knew there were costs though. There had to be. Not the cost to society, or to the laws of energy, or to the integrity of the timeline, but the cost to the person who had to watch and observe and do nothing. Watching and being unable to help had to be suffocating and traumatic. I knew then that I had questions that needed to be answered.

What were those emotional and mental costs?

What happens when those costs become too great and the time traveler decides to intervene?

What happens when the time laws are broken?

They’re questions I had to answer for myself, to give me peace. I hope you want to know the answers as much as I did.

Buy Time Salvager today:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Indiebound | Powell’s

Follow Wesley Chu on Twitter at @wes_chu, on Facebook, or visit him online.

Agent to the Stars eBook is Now on Sale for $2.99

Agent to the Stars by John ScalziThe ebook for Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi is now on sale for $2.99!*

About Agent to the Stars: The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity’s first interstellar friendship. There’s just one problem: They’re hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish.

So getting humanity’s trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal.

Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He’s one of Hollywood’s hottest young agents. But although Stein may have just concluded the biggest deal of his career, it’s quite another thing to negotiate for an entire alien race. To earn his percentage this time, he’s going to need all the smarts, skills, and wits he can muster.

Buy Agent to the Stars today: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

*sale ends July 31

New eBook Novella: To Stand or Fall by John Scalzi

The End of All Things #4: To Stand or Fall by John ScalziThe final episode from John Scalzi’s To Stand or Fall is now available!

About To Stand or Fall: Back on Earth, the beginning and end of all things. The nations of humanity’s home planet have parted ways with the starfaring Colonial Union, the human interstellar empire originally established to keep the home planet free. The Union needs to regain Earth’s trust. The alien races of the Conclave have their own hard choices to face. All of these threads culminate in this, Part Four of the four parts of The End of All Things, John Scalzi’s conclusion to the Old Man’s War tale that began with The Human Division.


Buy To Stand or Fall today: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

The complete hardcover edition of The End of All Things will be available August 11th.

New eBook Novella: Can Long Endure by John Scalzi

The End of All Things #3: Can Long Endure by John ScalziThe third episode from John Scalzi’s The End of All Things is now available!

About Can Long Endure: They signed up to defend humans from hostile aliens, but this group of Colonial Union soldiers finds themselves, instead, repeatedly sent to squelch rebellious human colonies that want to leave the CU. It’s not a sustainable situation. Something has to give. Part Three of the four parts of The End of All Things, John Scalzi’s conclusion to the Old Man’s War tale that began with The Human Division.

Buy Can Long Endure today:
B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

The last episode, To Stand or Fall, publishes on June 30th.

The complete hardcover edition of The End of All Things will be available August 11th.

New eBook Novella: This Hollow Union by John Scalzi

The End of All Things #2: This Hollow Union by John ScalziThe second episode from John Scalzi’s The End of All Things is now available!

About This Hollow Union: Desperate times call for desperate measures. And for the multi-species Conclave, desperate times have arrived. Faced with the prospect of major planets and species leaving the alliance, the Conclave’s leadership has just a few cards left to play…to unpredictable effect. Part Two of the four parts of The End of All Things,John Scalzi’s conclusion to the Old Man’s War tale that began with The Human Division.

Buy This Hollow Union today:
B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

Release Dates for Upcoming Episodes:

The complete hardcover edition of The End of All Things will be available August 11th.

New eBook Novella: The Life of the Mind by John Scalzi

The End of All Things #1: The Life of the Mind by John ScalziThe first episode from John Scalzi’s The End of All Things is now available!

About The Life of the Mind: A down-on-his-luck Colonial Union starship pilot finds himself pressed into serving a harsh master-in a mission against the CU. But his kidnappers may have underestimated his knowledge of the ship that they have, quite literally, bound him to piloting. Part One of the four parts of The End of All Things, John Scalzi’s conclusion to the Old Man’s War tale that began with The Human Division.

Buy The Life of the Mind today:
B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

Release Dates for Upcoming Episodes:

The complete hardcover edition of The End of All Things will be available August 11th.

Sneak Peek: Time Salvager by Wesley Chu

Time Salvager by Wesley ChuRead an excerpt from Time Salvager, a fast-paced time travel adventure by Wesley Chu, the award-winning author of The Lives of Tao.

Chapter One: End Times

A sliver of light cut through the void, shooting toward the center of the battle display. Every soul on the bridge, breaths collectively held, eyed its path as it streaked across space. The room was dead quiet, except for the droning voice counting down to the point of impact. An explosion the size of a thumbnail blinked and flowered to fill half the display, then darkened again.

The bridge erupted into cheers as the Neptune Divinity flagship’s holographic avatar disappeared. But the celebration was short-lived. Captain Dustinius Monk’s voice cut through the chatter.

“Station status!” he demanded. The grim news of the health of the ship trickled in.

Continue reading

Time Travel eBooks Now on Sale

TimeTravelLove time travel? So do we! So we’re celebrating this month with a special ebook promotion. Five titles are now available for just $2.99 each. This sale ends July 3rd.

Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card interweaves a compelling portrait of Christopher Columbus with the story of a future scientist who believes she can alter human history from a tragedy of bloodshed and brutality to a world filled with hope and healing.

Buy Pastwatch: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

 

Orion and King Arthur by Ben Bova

Orion has fought across time and space at the whims of his Creators, godlike beings from the future who toy with human history like spoiled children playing with dolls. Now, he must oppose his creator, Aten, to secure the life and legacy of King Arthur.

Buy Orion and King Arthur: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

 

Pirate Freedom by Gene Wolfe

As a young parish priest, Father Christopher has heard many confessions, but his own tale is more astounding than any revelation he has ever encountered in the confessional . . . for Chris was once a pirate captain, hundreds of years before his birth.

Buy Pirate Freedom: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

 

A Bridge of Years by Robert Charles Wilson

Tom Winter thought the secluded cottage in the Pacific Northwest would be the perfect refuge–a place to nurse the wounds of lost love and happiness. But Tom soon discovers that his safe haven is the portal of a tunnel through time. At one end is the present. At the other end–New York City, 1963.

Buy A Bridge of Years: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle |Kobo

 

The Technicolor Time Machine: Why pay for costumes, scenery, props or actors when the most brilliant drama of all time is unfolding before your very eyes, in vivid color–in 1050 A.D.? Join the film crew of that stupendous motion picture saga VIKING COLUMBUS as they journey back in time to capture history in the making.

Buy The Technicolor Time Machine: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events in May

Benefit of the Doubt by Neal GriffinVoyage of the Basilisk by Marie BrennanOf Noble Family by Mary Robinette Kowal

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in May! Once a month, we’re collecting info about all of our upcoming author events. Check and see who’ll be coming to a city near you:

James O. Born, Scent of Murder

Friday, May 1
Murder on the Beach
Delray Beach, FL
7:00 PM

Saturday, May 16
South Carolina Book Festival
Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
Columbia, SC
9:30 AM

Marie Brennan, Voyage of the Basilisk
Mary Robinette Kowal, Of Noble Family

Tuesday, May 5
DePaul University Bookstore
Chicago, IL
6:00 PM

Wednesday, May 6
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

Thursday, May 7
Copperfield’s Books
Petaluma, CA
7:00 PM

Tuesday, May 12
Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
Beaverton, OR
7:00 PM

Thursday, May 14
Weller Book Works
Salt Lake City, UT
6:00 PM

Saturday, May 16
Poisoned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
2:00 PM

Sunday, May 17
Murder by the Book
Houston, TX
2:00 PM

Monday, May 18
Quail Ridge Books & Music
Raleigh, NC
7:00 PM

Tuesday, May 19
Flyleaf Books
Chapel Hill, NC
7:00 PM

Wednesday, May 20
Malaprops
Asheville, NC
7:00 PM

Thursday, May 21
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM

Tina Connolly, Seriously Wicked

Tuesday, May 5
Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
Beaverton, OR
7:00 PM

Saturday, May 9
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
1:00 PM

Saturday, May 16
Redmond Library
With Jennifer Brozek, Cat Rambo, and Raven Oak
Hosted by Cascade Writers, books provided by University Bookstore
Redmond, WA
12:30 PM

Saturday, May 23
Seattle Mystery Bookshop
Seattle, WA
12:00 PM

P.N. Elrod, The Hanged Man

Friday, May 22
Barnes & Noble at Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX
4:00 PM

Neal Griffin, Benefit of the Doubt

Saturday, May 9
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
3:00 PM

Wednesday, May 13
Warwick’s Books
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

Thursday, May 14
Book Carnival
Orange, CA
7:00 PM

Friday, May 15
Poisoned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
7:00 PM

Sunday, May 17
Norman P. Murray Community Center
Mission Viejo, CA
9:30 AM

Monday, May 18
Murder by the Book
Houston, TX
6:30 PM

Dave Gross, Pathfinder Tales: The Lord of Runes

Thursday, May 21
University Bookstore
Seattle, WA
7:00 PM

May 22—May 25
PaizoCon
Seattle, WA

Rachel Howzell Hall, Skies of Ash

Tuesday, May 19
Book Carnival
Launch party!
Orange, CA
7:00 PM

Wednesday, May 20
The Last Bookstore
Los Angeles, CA
7:00 PM

Thursday, May 21
Eso Won Books
Los Angeles, CA
7:00 PM

Wednesday, May 27
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

Saturday, May 30
Poisoned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
2:00 PM

Sunday, May 31
A Great Good Place for Books
Oakland, CA
6:30 PM

Peter Orullian, Trial of Intentions

Tuesday, May 26
University Bookstore
Seattle, WA
7:00 PM

Thursday, May 28
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:30 PM

Saturday, May 30
Borderlands Bookstore
San Francisco, CA
3:00 PM

Sunday, May 31
Copperfield’s Books
Petaluma, CA
1:00 PM

Kit Reed, Where

Thursday, May 14
Skylight Books
Also with Scott O’Connor
Los Angeles, CA
7:30 PM

Tuesday, May 26
R.J. Julia Booksellers
Madison, CT
7:00 PM

Old Man’s War eBook is Now on Sale for $2.99

Old Man's War by John ScalziThe ebook for Old Man’s War by John Scalzi is now on sale for $2.99!*

About Old Man’s War: John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-and aliens willing to fight for them are common. The universe, it turns out, is a hostile place.

So: we fight. To defend Earth (a target for our new enemies, should we let them get close enough) and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has gone on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force, which shields the home planet from too much knowledge of the situation. What’s known to everybody is that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve your time at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine-and what he will become is far stranger.

Buy Old Man's War today: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

*sale ends June 5