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The Chronocar

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  16 reviews
An Urban Adventure in Time

Imagine being born the son of a slave with the mind of a genius. That was Simmie Johnson in the years following the Civil War. After a perilous escape from oppression, he manages to earn a PhD in physics at Tuskegee, and in his research, discovers the secret of time travel. He develops a design for a time machine, called a Chronocar, but the techn
Paperback, 148 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by Barking Rain Press
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  43 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Sue Burke
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A young man finds a research paper in a 1901 issue of the "Negro Journal of Science" explaining how to build a time traveling machine. In 2015, all the parts are now available, so he builds the "chronocar" and goes back to meet the scientist who wrote the article. He happens to arrive in 1919 just as Chicago's worst race riot breaks out, and he wants to save the scientist and his lovely daughter. But things just keep getting worse.... Innocent good intentions are not enough.

This fast-moving book
African Americans on the Move Book Club
The high intelligence that Simmie Johnson was born with could be the very reason he would meet his maker given the time he lived in. He was born the son of slaves. When his parents were sold, his grandmother took him in and raised him as her own. Growing up, Simmie knew he was smarter than most and begged a teacher in the white school to teach him how to read. It was during this time that he became interested in physics and time travel. As an adult Simmie knew it was extremely dangerous to be a ...more
J C Steel
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bored students will get into trouble. Always. In this case, Tony, a gifted young engineering student, has stumbled across an obscure article dating to the early 1900s, discussing how to build a vehicle to move through time – and has built a successful prototype. Determined to meet the genius whose idea it originally was, Tony sets his first journey through time to the time and address of Dr. Johnson. However, his arrival sparks a brutal race riot, and in his efforts to fix the fallout caused by ...more
Samuel Durr
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
A thrilling page turner. Like a little boy trying to clean up spilled cereal things go from messy to just plain chaotic for Tony, the novel's main character. Meanwhile, the reader enjoys watching it all go to hell. The vintage Chicago setting is quaint and the pacing is good. However, some of the story feels forced, like the use of the Chicago race riots, while interesting, at times the historic event felt jammed into the story.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not a SF fan, but this was actually a pretty good tale of time travel and all the possible issues caused by it. Liked the ending, not at all what I expected.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quick and satisfying novella about time travel based about Chicago. Extra points for the discussion of racial history in Chicago, which was integrated pretty seamlessly into the storyline.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Intriguing premise, surprising twist. A good, quick read.
Sep 15, 2018 added it
This was an okay read. I love historical fiction, so a sci-fi read about Black Chicago history should have been a great read for me. However, the things that I didn't like about the novel were big turnoffs. Read more of my thoughts on Black Girl Nerds: ...more
Apr 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good story.I was hoping for a fun time travel book,this was not one.A young black man in 2015 finds plans a scientist laid out decades earlier for a time machine.He rebuilds it to locate the man and alters time WAY too many times.Surprise ending. Earl Sewell was a mostly good narrator.His Irish and Scottish were a bit over the top,but it made me laugh. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Chronocar is about Tony Carpenter, a Tech student who discovers an old article written by Sammie Johnson. Sammie was born a genius, but because he was born a son of a slave his ethnicity kept him from publicly sharing his ideas on time travel. Sammie was able to publish his theory in the Negro Journal of Science and this is where Tony found it almost a century later. With modern technology, Tony created the Chronocar and traveled back to 1919 to meet the man whose theories made time travel p ...more
John Driscoll
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tony, a black IIT student from the modern day (specifically, 2015) discovers a paper published a hundred-ish years ago by a black physicist describing how time travel might be possible. However, that physicist, a Dr. Simmie Johnson, could not confirm his theory because the technology to actually create a machine that could travel time did not yet exist. However, Tony realizes that he can do it, so he does. He builds a working Chronocar and decides to travel back in time to 1919 to show Dr. Johns ...more
Steve Bellinger
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
As reviewed by Francine Zane for Readers' Favorite

In The Chronocar, science fiction meets history in a dynamic tale of time travel. When Tony finds a science journal about time travel, he combines this new found knowledge with his own near genius talents to design a Chronocar. His first trip is to meet the gentleman who wrote the paper, a Dr. Semmie Johnson who was once a slave but escaped a harrowing ordeal in search of an education. Through trial and error, Tony learns the true dangers of time
Interesting plot but writing style could be improved.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
(Note: a complimentary copy was provided for review)

To be honest, I started THE CHRONOCAR shortly before the election...and couldn't quite get into it. Traveling back and forth downtown the next day I managed to read it through both trips on the Midway Orange Line.

Steve Bellinger's THE CHRONOCAR is a really good, brisk science fiction novel about time travel...but its focus is on the African-American experience. When Tony, a student at IIT, discovers a paper about time travel by a man who lived
Deanna James
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of sci-fi so I knew I would be interested in reading The Chronocar. I wasn't disappointed. I loved this book. I could tell the author put hours of time researching facts and events to write this book. It was well written and the editing was perfect. The story was easy to follow.
Time travel is the subject of many movies and books. This story of traveling back in time was told with so much detail.
The Chronocar was a quick read. I wish it was longer. The last few chapters were unexpecte
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent time-travel novel with a brilliant twist.
Tammy Schoch
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Sep 03, 2015
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Dec 06, 2019
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Jan 05, 2016
Anton Richards
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Dec 11, 2017
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Sep 03, 2015
Karen Goldner
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Aug 08, 2015
Diane Niederman
rated it it was amazing
Apr 25, 2019
Best Indie Book Award
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Dec 11, 2018
Steve Bellinger
rated it it was amazing
Feb 28, 2018
Jim Lyon
rated it it was amazing
Feb 06, 2020
Scott Roberts
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Nov 23, 2019
Rick Lunkenheimer
rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2015
Erica Lynn
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Jul 31, 2018
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Jul 30, 2015
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