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Hollow World

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  4,734 ratings  ·  734 reviews
The future is coming...for some, sooner than others.

Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing, but when faced with a terminal illness, he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a world that challenges his un
Paperback, 362 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by Tachyon Publications (first published March 24th 2014)
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Lisa Dugan I would say a most definite yes. I didn't think I wanted to read this one... although truly a fan of all the Riyria books and now the Legends of the F…moreI would say a most definite yes. I didn't think I wanted to read this one... although truly a fan of all the Riyria books and now the Legends of the First Empire series, I just didn't think the time traveler / futuristic theme would appeal to me. I watched a video with Michael and clearly he likes to have his readers squirm a bit, wonder where he is going, what is he holding back... I felt as you did, reading the book, not sure about this Ellis guy... All I can say the payoff is worth it. ;) Keep turning those pages!(less)

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Jan 12, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Well this is my own story, so of course I'm not going to rank it...but I would like to provide some background and context, so here goes.

I’ve heard authors describe their books as if they were children, especially when asked which one is their favorite. And like children, some are planned, and others…well…they just arrive by accident. Last summer I had a fling that resulted in an unexpected novel.

I had just finished writing the drafts for The Crown Tower (due out August 6th), and The Rose and th
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

Hollow World was a novel that I was really excited about reading. I mean, one of my favorite fantasy authors, Michael J Sullivan, penned it, and it promised to be a science fiction novel in the mold of H.G. Wells classic The Time Machine, which is one of my childhood favorites. So, all the stars seemed to be lined up for me to thoroughly enjoy this one. Unfortunately, the novel and I quickly took a dislike to one another, and while I did finish it, I ca
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-shelf, sci-fi
What can I say? I liked this reimagining of Well's Time Machine better than the original.

It's full of fully modern sensibilities and SF concepts and even brings about a cool 50's villainiazation among a populace that has miraculously found a post-scarcity paradise, true gender equality because sexual dimorphism has been eradicated (but not orgasms:), and an old school SF idea of making God through better tech.

In fact, there was a lot of good mirroring and exploration of ourselves, what we think
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
While I am a huge fan of Sullivan's Riyria series, I can honestly say this one wasn't for me.

Time travel books and I don't normally get along. There are a few exceptions, such as Endymion, but for the most part the ones I've tried just didn't work for me. It isn't my preferred type of science fiction.

So this book already had a strike against it, but I love Sullivan's work. So I tried it.

Ellis Rogers has just discovered his wife's infidelity and given a grim prognosis in the same day. With nothin
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Hollow World was easily one of my top reads of 2013. I was fortunate to receive the ebook version early because I was a backer in the Kickstarter campaign, a project I pledged my support to as soon as I found out about it because I am a fan of the author. At the time I had just finished reading his Riyria Revelations series and was still coming off from the high, so I was pretty keen on the idea of seeing Hollow World take off.

First, though, a bit of history: in his afterword, Michael J. Sulliva
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-review, 2013
Michael J. Sullivan has made a name for himself by not only mastering the self-published market, but by making the transition to traditional publishing. Successful on both fronts, Sullivan continues to publish books whether a publishing house wants to pursue it or not. This is ideal for an author because their ideas need not be limited by whether a traditional publishing house can make money or not. The author can just write stories.

In the case of Hollow World, it was the best of both worlds. Tr
Executive Summary: A large departure from his Riyria books, Hollow World was still something I really enjoyed, but is likely not for everyone.

Full Review
I was a little nervous about reading and reviewing this book. I've been fortunate enough to exchange several emails and discussion posts with Mr. Sullivan over the last few months after discovering his Riyria books late last year.

Fortunate may not be the best word since Mr. Sullivan seems to go out of his way to interact with his fans. I hat
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cranked through this puppy in a day and it was fun. It's a very suspenseful book and I was surprised at how quickly I got hooked into it. I'm glad I chose not to do audio because I was reading at about three times my normal rate in order to find out what was going on.

Ellis find out that he has six months to live so he decides to finally use that time travel device in his garage. You know, that one we all have? So he sets it to travel two hundred years in the future and pretty much nothing goes
Chris McGrath
Anyone who has been reading science fiction for a while, or has ever read some of the classics of the genre, knows that its greatest strength (along with its sister genre, fantasy) is in being able to explore ideas about real life in a setting that divorces itself from all our preconceived notions about those ideas. You can write about robots and explore the intricacies of slavery, or tell the truth about the Vietnam War by writing a book about spaceships and time dilation. This is what classic ...more
Skylar Phelps
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
My favorite kind of science fiction is focused on discovery, exploration and storytelling. I do enjoy themes and underlying messages that question current social issues and challenge moral perspectives AS LONG as the themes don't bog down the story but are approached through the storytelling itself.

Hollow World succeeds at keeping the focus on the plot while offering up some of these questions and themes. Certain aspects of the underlying messages reminded me of Heinlein or Bradbury, whose nove
Timothy Ward
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2014
One of the first things that appealed about Hollow World was how easy it was to get into the story. Written in the classic style of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, Hollow World produces a modern story just as enjoyable, if not more so, than its predecessor. The main character, Ellis Rodgers, is introduced to the readers while finding out that he has terminal cancer, and instead of tearing up, he starts laughing. The mystery in his story continues from there to the final line, and the discoveries a ...more
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Ellis Rogers has a terminal illness which will kill him in about half a year. He does not care about it as he also has a time machine in his garage. It only works if one goes to the future, but he hopes they will develop the cure in about 200 years where he intends to go. With nothing to hold him back he uses the machine, but due to an unknown problem he ends up in quite different time from what he expected.

First a word of warning: if you think this will be anything like Riyria Revelations in s
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Darlene
Wow, I feel very lucky to have stumbled upon this little known (to me anyway) gem. This is the second one that I was fortunate to have found this year. The first being The Martian. Surprisingly, I believe that I first encountered them through ads on Goodreads. I don’t know if they are using Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think to target my interests using an algorithm based upon the books I’ve read or not. Either way, the recommendations have proven very effect ...more
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This book brilliantly represents what good quality Science Fiction should (or could) be - an opportunity to raise timeless and fundamental questions about the tension between society and individuality, the opposition between order and harmony on one side and striving and competition on the other side, the complex relationship between technology and society, and the surprisingly blurred border between a dystopian and an utopian society.

Fundamental issues such as the deep nature of the human cond
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r2016, scifi, stars-4-0
Hollow World is one addictive read. I started yesterday and could not stop :O)

Having grown up with books from H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, I have always had a penchant for old style scifi stories. This novel taps into this while offering a combination of fast-paced adventure, crime thriller and discovery of a new world.

Ellis Rogers lives a pretty ordinary life, one he barely shares with is estranged wife. Everything changes however when he finds out he has only months to live. Suddenly, faced wit
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to David by: Grumpus
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a wonderful book about Ellis Rogers, a man who designs a one-way time machine. He has a terminal disease, and intends to jump about 200 years into the future, perhaps to find a cure for his disease. However, a miscalculation sends him about 2000 years into the future, and finds a society that lives in a beautifully sculpted underground "Hollow World".

In this world there are no longer two sexes--just one, androgynous sex, all genetically identical. The "three [technological] miracles" en
Matt Gilliard
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s always an interesting proposition when an author jumps to another genre. Will the elements of their successes in one venue parlay into equal success in another? Will the story be as entertaining as the previous works, despite a complete change of storytelling scenery, with different tropes and expectations? Readers of this blog are well aware that I’m decidedly more comfortable with fantasy novels, only branching into science fiction rarely. So when I heard that Michael J. Sullivan was usin ...more
Pauline Ross
This is a break away from fantasy for the author, but not very far. It’s technically science fiction - a guy builds a time machine in his Detroit garage, and after a diagnosis of terminal cancer he decides he has nothing to lose by trying it out. He sets things up for a jump two hundred years into the future, where, if he’s really lucky and survives the jump at all, there may be a cure. But - oops, slight miscalculation, and here we are two thousand years on. There’s a certain amount of arm-wavi ...more
I received a free eARC copy of this book from NetGalley.

...and I also bought a paperback from the author's website, because I enjoy and collect his work.

...and this is a great addition to that collection! First off, I'll say that I did not like it quite as much as Sullivan's Riyria books, but that's more from genre-preference than any issues with this book.

This book is certainly a fine celebration of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, as well as being a seriously good novel in its own right. As the
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
A really interesting story about time travel. Fun, engaging, and never dull. Not a whole lot of characters but each one of them unique (oh the irony). The world itself is also interesting and i would like to visit it again in much more detail then offered here. Also it's nice to read a story about the future and that the future isn't bleak but... well optimistic, idealistic full of hope.

And the logic behind it all is easy to follow so plus points there.

One negative, for me, is the conflict itsel
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I was one of the backers for this book on Kickstarter and just received my digital copy. I don't think it's going to be published until next year, but I always try to write reviews right after I finish the book. I got it yesterday and started and finished it today. So if you read nothing else of this review, know that this author is good enough that I will read any and all of his books as soon as I get my hands on them, and this book in particular is good enough to be worth reading in one sittin ...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
3.5 Stars

I’m going to start by saying this is not the type of book I normally read. I’m a huge fantasy and a sci/fi geek but I can’t say that I’ve read anything quite like this. Hollow World sets itself apart by having a Hero that is a little outside the typical Main Character role and a future that I haven’t seen written before. The hero is older than the normal teen dream at 58 Ellis is terminally ill with about six months to live. Unlike other books that when the Hero is older he still looks
If you're a fan of Michael Sullivan's, you've probably heard by now that Hollow World is completely different from his Riyria Revelations series. It has a different tone, setting, and themes. There's a more modern feel with cultural references and modern language tossed about. But the sense of humor is still there, as well as the seemingly simple twists that somehow end up meaning more than I expected.

It starts out in the present-day with a man who has nothing to live for (and is dying anyway)
The Shayne-Train
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
A man with nothing holding him to the present (except an incurable lung disease) hops in his ghetto-style time machine to THE FUTURE! Why? Because WHY NOT? And what he finds there is not at all what he expected.

This may have been my favorite ever literary "glimpse of the future." And because we had our time-travel buddy Ellis to bring us along, we got a valid reason to have all the intricacies of the future civilzation explained to us. I'm a sucker for a fish-out-of-water story.

And like the best
Sep 05, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to Zeitfuge - also known a Hollow World! This is the German edition of this novel, and while I can't read it (don't know German), I would very much like to. ...more
Once I saw the promotional poster for this book, I knew immediately that this was a world I wanted to go to even if it is a future world accessible only by fictional time travel. And it turned out to be a world that I was sad to leave at book’s end, along with the adorable Pax and his bowler hat.

This is the story of a man named Ellis who abandons everyone he’s ever known to take a one-way trip to the future. He sees the future as an escape from the life of the present, and perhaps the future ho
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of those books I went into with tempered or moderate expectations. And not because of the author, but namely the genre. I'm fairly picky when it comes to science fiction books, and honestly not all that well read.

But having said that, my expectations were shattered. I still prefer Mr. Sullivan's Riyria work, namely because I'm a lover of fantasy first and foremost, but this book was outstanding. Probably my favorite time travel book to date, edging out the fabulous REPLAY by Ken Grimwood.

Seregil of Rhiminee
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Because I enjoyed reading Michael J. Sullivan's fantasy novels (the Riyria novels), I'm glad that I had a chance to read and review his forthcoming science fiction novel, Hollow World. I can say that it was a pleasure to read this novel, because it was well written entertainment.

Hollow World is an interesting and entertaining science fiction novel that differs quite a lot from other new sci-fi novels. It's a well written and charmingly old-fashioned story wit
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Michael J. Sullivan's books are always so damn readable. He embraces classic tropes, to such a degree that his books can be called cliche, and Hollow World starts out the same. About halfway through this book, I found myself thinking that I should hate this book. There's absolutely nothing original to it, and (unlike Sullivan's Riyria books) I don't even like the protagonist. Yet because of Sullivan's mastery of writing as a craft, I was loving the book anyway.

But about midway through, this book
Nathan Coops
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: time-travel
There are very few books I finish where I could immediately start over at page one and be confident of getting even more out of it. Michael J. Sullivan’s Hollow World is one of those rare finds. Sullivan uses a very small cast of characters and a brief amount of pages to tell a very big story. It’s surprising, thought provoking fiction that challenges you to consider how you view the world and the relationships you have in it. It’s poignant, funny, and heartbreaking.
I read this as part of a time
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Hollow World [Feb 15, 2018] 25 27 Feb 24, 2018 09:19PM  
Time Travel: Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan 51 145 Aug 12, 2015 05:00AM  

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Articles featuring this book

His Favorite Science Fiction: Time travel to a perplexing future in his new adventure, Hollow World, and try his top five sci-fi reads. No DeLorean...
19 likes · 23 comments
“Love is the degree to which you are willing to sacrifice your own interests for those of another. It doesn’t matter what sex you are. It doesn’t matter who you are, or were. It only matters that you care more for someone else than you do for yourself. It’s when you eat minlatta with tarragon oil even when you hate pasta because someone with you enjoys it. It’s when you value being alone more than anything but agree to move in with someone because they need you. And believe this, Ellis Rogers, for I am quite certain that love is most certainly when you push away the one person in all the world you want to be with because you think your thoughts would cause them pain.” 12 likes
“The two of them just sort of clicked, like old friends who’d just met. Friends-at-first-sight, if there was such a thing.” 9 likes
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