Randall didn't know he had a destiny until it interrupted his lunch one day; and it was bigger than he could possibly have imagined (his destiny, not his lunch).
That's when he met the mysterious Marcus Han - brainier than a clumsy butcher's floor, and secretly the richest man in the world, he would be Randall's companion and mentor through the challenges they must face in their struggle to stop the entire Galaxy from vanishing.
With a supporting cast of talking trees, mutant psychics, bungling cops, extremely refined resistance operatives, military trained birds, enlightened mushrooms, hallucinating AI units, cutlery collecting crabs, and his definitely EX-girlfriend to help him, he must travel back in time to the twenty-first century and begin again in a new, less tyrannical, timeline.
If his departed dad, the World Police, the Planimals, or the ancient aliens don't stop him first that is...
Ian Cattell is a software developer who wanted a change from staring blankly at a computer screen all day. So he decided to write a book.
Yeah, I know…
Over the next six months he learned that there are many advantages to writing a book compared to writing software, the main one being that he doesn't have to re-write it whenever Microsoft decides it's “time”.
He enjoys astronomy, baking organic bread, and trying to figure out why some people insist on using Macs - but when his neighbour is out he likes to play his drums. He's got a Roland TD-11KV with the extra CY-12 Crash cymbal and double kick pedals, he runs it through a 150W Mosfet PA amp via a BOSS...
Embedded in an endless smattering of delightfully cringeworthy puns and reference jokes, is a fascinating and remarkably serious plot that twists and turns with reckless abandon, providing insightful commentary on contemporary society, human/posthuman condition and transhumanism. A classic type of satire of corporate and technological struggle for progress at the cost of human quality of life, mixed with novel ideas about the origin of life and accelerated evolution.
Read it! It's got everything!! Sex! Violence! Mutants! Moustaches! A thousand elephants!!! (Well, maybe not the elephants. I think...)
I'm personally eagerly awaiting the sequel, which, rumour has it, is well under way.
That this was a very fun read. Fortunately (and unfortunately at times) I picked this as the book I would read when waiting for the wife to get out of work. It made the time go by, but because I chose to read it while waiting, it left me wanting more sooner.
It was worth it, though. It served its purpose, and thensome. I was thoroughly entertained, and cannot wait to read more from Ian in the (not lost) future. Pick it up - it's well worth the read!
I am always looking for time-travel books, so I was glad to find this one. The plot was well put together, with an ending I wasn't expecting, but which wound up the story perfectly. Laughed and had fun, and had a few thought-inspiring moments throughout the book. Heartily recommend!
The influence of the likes of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams is clear in this first novel by Ian Cattell. The use of words (and numbers) is clever, the jokes are actually funny and the characters and plot development keep the reader engaged from start to finish - although you'll have to follow the plot carefully to actually locate the start and finish, as this story has more twists and turns than a cheap sat-nav. If you like clever, funny, classic 'hard' SF then this is definitely worth a read - in fact I found it worth a second read straight away, and the last book that had that effect upon me was written by one Terry Pratchett. Highly recommended, and I'm looking forward to more from this author.