Published by Crooked Lane Books on August 9, 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Mystery
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In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history.
Fifty years later, time travel is a big business. Twenty-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped?
Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.
Four women invented time travel in 1967. Three went on to become rich and famous. One went on to have a breakdown and be cut off from her friends. The Psychology of Time Travel is clearly science fiction, but it’s also a murder mystery and even more about women and their relationships.
I’m in general not a big time travel fan. It can so easily turn wonky. Here time travel is treated almost cavalierly. It was invented and people exploit it. Time travelers themselves regularly get together with their “green selves” and “silver selves,” sometimes having over a dozen of themselves in the same place at the same time. It does allow for some interesting interactions and to see how time travel affects the individuals. Because that’s what the book is about, how time travel affects people, mentally and emotionally, not about how it works or how it affects cultures or politics.
The murder mystery bit was interesting. It’s a locked room mystery essentially but time travel devices mean it takes some digging to figure out what really happened and why. But if you’re coming at this one solely as a mystery lover, it’s not worth your time.
Almost all of the characters are women, but there are a lot of them. Mothers and daughters, friends and lovers, it can get a bit confusing. And with the sheer number of characters, some don’t get as much attention as they deserve. I did enjoy seeing how they each got along, how their relationships changed over and through time, how past actions continue to echo.
Overall, The Psychology of Time Travel was a good read. Yes, it requires a fair amount of suspension of disbelief, but I enjoyed it.
This video is the author introducing her book.
For the COYER Treasure Hunt, this counts as my book featuring a strong female protagonist (#54) worth 3 points.