Fiction Reviews

Time on my Hands

(1999) Peter Delacorte, Phoenix, £6.99, trdpbk, 397pp, ISBN 0-75380-838-2


Time travel is probably the SF trope that is most attempted by non-SF authors, with varying degrees of success. In this book Gabriel Prince must travel back prior to World War Two in order to change the course of Ronald Reaganís life, and save the world from having to suffer his presidency. Needless to say, this turns out to be more difficult than it seems, despite Prince joining Warner Bros. as a screenwriter, cannibalising films he remembers, but which havenít been made yet, in order to make Reagan a bigger star than he was. The plot is further complicated by Prince falling in love, and by two men from the future who want their time machine back.

Filled with historical detail (including photographs) this is about what youíd expect. That is, it doesnít work as SF (nor, I believe, is it intended to). However, as a mainstream take on alternate histories itís quite fun, though ultimately tragic. On the whole I canít recommend this book to an SF audience but, in fairness, the more casual reader should enjoy it.

Tony Chester

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