Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's About Time - fiction

Yesterday's post was also about time, highlighting three fascinating nonfiction titles. But if you are not in the mood for non-fiction books, here are a few novels that might peak your interest:

Alan Lightman seems to me to be a fascinating man. He is a novelist, essayist, physicist and Adjunct Professor of Humanities at MIT. From a very early age he was entranced by both science and the arts. His novel, Einstein's Dreams (M) was an international best-seller in 1992, has been translated into 30 languages and has been adapted for the stage by David Gardiner. It has been used in numerous college and university courses. A fictional Albert Einstein is troubled by dreams as he works on his theory of relativity. Each of the chapters features a dream by Einstein, all of which are on the subject of time.

Banned in China - and the Chinese government authorities have banned its export and blocked all sites that offer free download - The Fat Years (M) by Chan Koonchung has become an underground phenomenon. Presenting a dystopian portrait of one of the world's superpower, Koonchung’s novel takes place during an economic boom in 2013. The beginning point for the novel is that one month has gone missing from the official records and popular memory in China. Something terrible happened during this time, but the government has managed to effect a state of near total forgetfulness. Protagonist Old Chen wants to find what happened and joins forces with a few others wanting the same thing. They kidnap a senior official and he tells them what lies behind the "fat years". This is a fascinating novel about a very secretive country, well worth a look.

Zig Zag: a novel (M), by Jose Carlos Somoza is part horror, part science fiction and part thriller. String theory and time travel are key elements of the plot. Physics professor Eliza Robledo was part of a science exhibition working to manipulate string theory. In doing so the scientists were able to witness images of the past, as if the events were live and happening now. Continuing their research on a remote island in the Indian Ocean, the team awoke something dangerous. Years later, Eliza discovers that members of the team are dying gruesome deaths and she may be next. What does time have in store for poor Eliza? As the saying goes, time waits for no (wo)man.

So no matter how much time it took for you to read this blog, I hoped you enjoyed it.

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