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Pilot X

(Pilot X #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,132 ratings  ·  182 reviews
What would happen if a time traveler lived in a world where time could not easily be changed and if it was changed, it might destroy everything but himself?

Pilot X just wants to fly a time ship. Specifically the Verity. But the Guardians of Alenda, rulers of his people, throw him in the middle of a time war. When he makes peace they don’t seem pleased. In fact, his own peo
ebook, 179 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Inkshares
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,132 ratings  ·  182 reviews

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Executive Summary: A fun, quick read that fans of Doctor Who or classic Science Fiction will probably enjoy.

Audiobook: I was unfamiliar with Kevin T. Collins prior to listening to this book, but I'll be keeping an eye out for him in the future. He reads clearly at good volume and does a few voices as well. Tom lucked out with a good narrator who added a little something extra to the book.

Full Review
For what it's worth, I've been a member of Tom's online book club Sword & Laser for nearly 5
J.-F. Dubeau
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My initial reaction to Pilot X was that I loved it. However, something didn't sit well with me. I kept wanting to give it three or four stars instead of five.

The story lacks a lot of the modern mainstays of science fiction. There's no bickering crew on the Verity. No love triangle. Pilot X is a little sarcastic and a hint acerbic but he's not the worn out, wisecracking badass of every book. He's not a weathered idealist who's lost his way in a cold and uncaring universe.

The world of Pilot X isn'
Sci-Fi & Scary
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you liked Dr. Who, then you’ll like Pilot X. X is a time traveler with a fairly unique ship. He just wants to fly his ship and explore things. Suddenly, in a sort of ‘thrust to greatness’ move, he finds himself in a time war. X is an affable fellow with great empathy who really only wants to do the right thing. He adores his ship, likes helping fix people’s problems, and is very intelligent with a bit of a mouth on him. As I said, if you like Dr. Who, you’ll like X too.

An engaging read, Pilot
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
First I am a fan of "Sword and Laser" so seeing Tom Merritt had written a book I was more then curious.
"Pilot X" is more like classic Sci-Fi, I see a lot of people mentioning Dr. Who, and I can see that comparing at least two races to other races we have come to know through Dr. Who.
Where it diverts is with Verity the Ship that Pilot X is assigned to.
But lets go back to the book. "X" is a member to the Alenda a race that has reached its pinnacle and seems to be coasting now in the Universe. T
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Stop me if you've heard this one before: Sarcastic main character tools around the cosmos in his time machine (that's bigger on the inside) and is, thanks to a universe-spanning war, the last of an alien race of time travelers. A charitable view would be that Tom Merritt takes inspiration from Doctor Who. A less charitable view would be that Tom Merritt should probably be expecting a cease and desist letter from the BBC any day now.

Ultimately, this is a okay book that's short enough not to overs
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, scifi, read-2017
Pilot X is a time traveler. This is the story about his journey that ends up with him as the last surviving Alendan in the universe.

Pilot X reminds me of classic sci-fi stories. A lot of great ideas and an interesting plot but rather thin characters (reminiscent of Philip K. Dick. It also thankfully lacks the sexism and racism). Tom Merritt was inspired to write this book because of Doctor Who and the influence is clearly felt throughout. I generally enjoyed Pilot X as a character, even though h
May 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
This is just terrible. I really wanted to like it as I have followed Tom for many years on CNET, TWit, Daily Tech News, etc as well as his excellent (Hugo nominated) Sword and Laser podcast with Veronica Belmont. But I had to Lem it. S&L fans know what that means. Didn't quite get half way. My stomach was tightening up with each stupid twist. Literally tightening up and not the literally that means figuratively.
Pilot X is a time travel space opera with plenty of ideas but lacking the skill to ex
A time hopping adventure that is an obvious homage to Dr Who. Surprisingly the story manages to skirt all the usual tropes associated with time paradoxes but manages include quite a bit of humor that only works with time travel novels. The "go and complete this one year mission and meet me back here in 20 minutes" type.

There is an underlying story that is foreshadowed right at the beginning so you know where it's going right from the start. I was half expecting that to turn into a red herring.

Bryan Ewert
Jul 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
Consider someone relating a long story to you, perhaps one being fabricated on the spot. At various points, they spend an inordinate amount of time embellishing minutiae that has little relevance. Then they rush ahead, leaving wide gaps in the story. Dialog is colloquial, bordering on droll, yet weak and stilted. Character names change minute to minute. And finally, it's a story about time travel, where past, present and future swap places constantly, never once settling. It's a disorienting and ...more
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
A playground for lovers of Time Travel

Review to come on Fantasy Faction.

Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Alendans are the only race that has truly mastered time travel. Pilot X is happy that he gets to pilot one of the Alendan time traveling ships, and is particularly happy with the artificial intelligence assigned on that ship. However, one of the most senior ambassadors has asked Pilot X to become Ambassador X (Alendans use a title and single name, those with no position are simply called Citizen [given name]) and to try to negotiate a peace between two other races. These are the Progons, a r ...more
Dave Packard
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fun romp through time and space... I am not a Dr Who aficionado, but I guess that is not required to thoroughly enjoy Pilot X. Imaginative, thoughtful, and fast moving.
Kate (Looking Glass Reads)
Pilot X is a new science fiction novel by Tom Merritt being released today, March 14, 2017. This is a fun, fast read, perfect for a lazy weekend. Which, incidentally, is exactly when I read this book.

So what did I think of it?

Well, first, it’s fun.

In this book we follow our main character, Pilot X, as he flies through space and time in his ship Verity while rising through the ranks of his home planet. Pilot X is an Alendan, a race of humanoid beings who have mastered the art of time travel who h
Eh, I'm not going to finish this one. I got the audiobook for like $3.00 awhile back and figured, "why not?" but I'm probably going ask for my $3.00 back because the narrator is completely killing it for me with his inexplicable use of a cheesy Transylvanian accent for one of the alien races, not to mention the fact that at the beginning he was spelling out everyone's names (who cares?), but then just completely stopped doing that after the first chapter or so.

I would switch to the print versio
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a hard book to review, and not only because I have a lot of respect for Tom Merritt from years listening to Sword and Laser.

First off, I love the premise of the story. A Time Lord-type race struggling in a shadowy, dimensional war with two other races whose influence spans the length and breadth of time and space. We experience this war through the eyes of Pilot/Ambassador/instructor X, who we are told throughout the novel is an important figure in the war. Merritt somehow manages to wri
I really enjoyed this book. Pilot X has to try right wrongs in space and time. It just seems the more he does it the more he needs to do it. He is tasked with saving the universe or risk it imploding completely. Which is the right path to go?
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun, interesting time travel book.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a weird sketchy bootleg Doctor Who knockoff. Complete with an obvious plot, no character depth, and a boring main character.
Jeff Miller
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyable read. Time travel yarn that felt more like Golden Age SF. Plus the light sense of humor added to it.
Feb 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Lord. Where do I even start?

I mean, there’s the obvious. Bizarro wise-cracking man travels through space and time in a female spaceship that he loves and which is bigger on the inside, fighting robots and malevolent organic flesh blobs in metal wastebaskets, ultimately must destroy both his own people and their enemies. (And he talks like the worst of the Eleventh Doctor, and I HATE the Eleventh Doctor. I’m honestly confused as to how this got past legal.)

That’s not even a damn spoiler because i
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Time travel is a tricky genre. It’s an equally tricky concept in general. While we’re all familiar with the idea of time travel, it can be difficult to wrap your head around it sometimes – especially when it’s integral to a particular story. Sometimes time travel is merely a frame through which to tell a story and the creator is perfectly happy just letting it happen without much explanation. Others develop convoluted rules to keep themselves and the story in check. Pilot X is something of the l ...more
Diego S
Time travel is something that mankind only dreams of. The book Pilot X, by Tom Merrit, looks at three races that can achieve this. The book perfectly combines sci-fi and mystery, creating a great and entertaining story.

All that Pilot X wants to do, is fly his ship, the Verity, through time. Pilot X is a member of the Alendan race, a civilization that has mastered the technology to travel through time. As a Pilot, it is his job to take orders from officials and complete them without messing with
Michael Ben Silva III
This is a strange one. I *did* really enjoy the book, and I picked it up on Audible because the premise sounded good on its own, but this story is so strongly tied to Doctor Who, I don't know how to talk about it. The author explicitly has said he set out to write this book after wanting to know more about the Time War and the Doctor having to choose to destroy both Gallifrey and its enemies to save the rest of the universe. He says also that there aren't Daleks or a Tardis etc. in his novel, bu ...more
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pilot X is an engaging read! I enjoyed the story. The book has a lot of big ideas about time travel, alien races, and morality. The book starts off at the end of the story before taking the reader through the circumstances that led Pilot X to that moment. Although it is a story about time travel, the rest of the book follows Pilot X through his own subjective timeline. Through Pilot X's eyes, we see a vast and interesting universe.

While I loved the big picture in this book, stronger world build
Stev Paulson
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had been meaning to pick this up for a long time, but as I do most my reading through Audible, my credits kept going in other directions (usually for more expensive books). Not long ago, however, this was on a ridiculous sale, and I was able to pick it up for just a couple bucks.

I had a very hard time getting into this book. I found out the problem was not necessarily with the content or the narrator (who eventually I was ok with - I didn't appreciate his performance very much). The problem I
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Pilot X is of the time-traveling species of Alendans, but all he wants to do is fly his ship, the Verify. But his people throw him in the middle of a time war anyway, so he makes peace. When he realizes too late that peace is not what the Alendans want, Pilot X must make a choice, and both outcomes have universe-wide implications.

First, let's get this out of the way. A lone man, the last of his own race of time travelers, traverses time and space in his spaceship (that's bigger on the inside) wi
Francis Fernandez
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick and fun sci-fi read that stars an alien from a race of time travelers who happen to use box that's bigger on the inside. So if you've heard this one before, you'll know what to kind of expect.

Up front, I really enjoyed this book. I had a good time, for the most part, reading this adventure of a secret dimensional war, where only one Alendan can stop it. There were some quippy dialog, some frolicking through space and time, and some interesting alien races. But unfortunately, there wasn't
Caanan Grall
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
When you get to the end of a book and you have to read the first chapter again, I'd say you've got a pretty good time travel novel on your hands!

I love all things time travel, and this book has some unique ways of looking at it that other movies just never touch. Could you pull it apart and find all its holes? Probably. But from where I'm sitting, no-one's done time travel quite like this, using alternate timelines as just a regular ol' occurrence rather than the usual crutch of a Terminator/Bac
Matthew Sargent
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
Pilot X is a fun, humorous, quick adventure across time and space that I would think began its life as Doctor Who fan fiction if I thought Tom Merritt were the type of author to write fan fiction (which I don't). Merritt definitely deviated from the source of his inspiration to create a universe with plenty of interesting aliens and worlds. I just wish he had given the readers more time with them; many were there for a handful of pages, and then Pilot X was off to his next stop. I suppose that's ...more
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: f-not-good, z-audio
First, do yourself a favor and skip the audible version. I had to listen at 1.2x speed just to get a normal cadence. Every sentence is read like it is VERY IMPORTANT, and it's just exhausting to listen to.

Second, while the story arc had some interest, the execution was amateur. There was *so much* exposition. There was a lot of "this person/thing is Unique and Special... because we say so." There was a lot of detail in the unimportant parts, and a lot of handwaving in the important parts. The t
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Tom Merritt is a technology journalist and broadcaster. Tom has previously worked at TechTV, CNET and TWiT. He currently hosts the Sword and Laser book club podcast, Daily Tech News Show, Current Geek and Cordkillers among others.

photo by Andrew Mager

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Pilot X (2 books)
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