How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe - Charles Yu

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe - Charles Yu

This book was a lot of fun.


I raced through it in the course of two train journeys, which feels appropriate, because it's a book about time, and it's a book about travel. OK, it's a book about time travel, but it places emphasis on both elements of that phrase, and wow, is it clever.


Our Narrator (who has the same name as Our Author, which should give you a clue to the kind of book this is) is a time travel repairman who gets stuck in a time loop. The novel is a meditation - a hectic, breathless meditation - on father-son relationships, on the human experience of time, on narration and story, on, ultimately, the meaning of life. It's hard to talk about it without spoilers, and even harder to get my head around, but if you're looking for an experimental, clever, fast-paced, sparkling book about time travel - something very different - then this is the book for you.


I've never seen SF written like this (think Ford Madox Ford on LSD crossed with the weirder episodes of classic Doctor Who), but I sure hope I see some more. Wow.