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A Time and a Place

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Barnabus’s nephew is behaving oddly. Calling upon Doctor Humphrey for assistance has not been particularly helpful, because the good doctor’s diagnosis of demonic possession is clearly preposterous. Even the demon currently ensconced on the front room couch agrees it’s preposterous. But then, how else to explain the portal to another world through which his nephew and Humphrey have just now disappeared? Barnabus knows their only chance of rescue is for Barnabus J. Wildebear himself to step up and go through that portal.


Thus begins an existential romp across space and time, trampling on Barnabus’ assumptions about causality, freewill, identity, good and evil. Can Barnabus save his nephew—and incidentally, all of humanity?

ebook

First published October 1, 2017

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About the author

Joe Mahoney

3 books31 followers
Joe Mahoney is a writer and a broadcaster.

As a broadcaster, he has produced multiple radio documentaries on science fiction. He produced Six Impossible Things, an audio compilation of short fantastical fiction, curated by Nalo Hopkinson, and wrote and produced the science fiction radio show Faster Than Light, hosted by Robert J. Sawyer.

He engineered and story-edited Steve the First, a post-apocalyptic science fiction radio play mini-series, and its sequel, Steve the Second, which won a silver Mark Time Award. He produced and directed the pilot of the radio drama series Canadia: 2056, and story-edited all subsequent episodes. He is responsible for all the funniest bits.

Joe’s short fiction has been published in Canada, Australia and Greece. He’s been nominated twice for an Aurora Award, one of Canada’s top awards for science fiction and fantasy.

A Time and a Place is his first novel, though he's well into his second, working title Captain's Away.

He has also published a collection of short fiction entitled Other Times and Places.

Joe lives in Whitby with his wife and two daughters, and their golden retriever and Siberian forest cat.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews
Profile Image for Joe Mahoney.
Author 3 books31 followers
December 18, 2020
Apparently, according to Goodreads, it's okay to review your own book. So here goes... a completely impartial, unbiased book review for my science fiction/fantasy time travel adventure A Time and a Place.

Let's start with what this book is about. And I'd say it's about two or three pounds. This is a book with some serious heft. You put this book on something it's not going anywhere. There are a lot of pages, four hundred and three of them. If you like your book with pages, you're gonna like this book, pages and pages of pages.

And there are words, folks. Big words, little words, and middle sized words that are juuuust right. We're talking nouns, verbs, adjectives, indefinite articles, lightly seasoned with adverbs. But not too many adverbs. This isn't JK Rowling we're talking about here, who can get away with that sort of thing.

What do you get for your money? This book comes fully loaded with an index, chapter headings, acknowledgements, authors bio, there are even page numbers. And make sure you check out the font. It's called a dirty font. But don't let that put you off, this is a clean book. There are no bad words as this really is a book for people of all ages, young and old alike. Unless you're 72, this book is not recommended for people 72 years old. But once you're 73 you should be good to go.

Know that this book is only available in select bookstores because, let's face it, not all bookstores can handle a book of this calibre. This is a book to be, if not read, at least purchased and placed on a book shelf of your choice with the spine facing out because it doesn't make any sense to have the spine facing in.

Highly recommended, six out of five stars for this truly superlative effort in this completely unbiased book review of my own book.

Get it today while supplies last, there are only so many electronic editions out there.
Profile Image for Erika Sarutobi.
581 reviews22 followers
September 20, 2019
This was an interesting read and it's the first for me to read time paradox and time travel since I mostly read YA. I would have given it a higher rating if it wasn't for the characters.

The plot was interesting and I enjoyed reading how Wildebear's actions with trying to fix everything just created a paradox instead. His powers to control the gate and taking him to other places and other living thing's consciousness was enjoyable too. The whole deal with the T'Klee and the Necronians is what sets the story going despite it being somewhat cliche but I really liked Jacques and what he had to go through.

As for the characters, I feel like most of them besides Wildebear, aren't fleshed out and are just there for plot convenience. Even Wildebear, despite being close to 40 years old, was childish most times and I didn't like the book as much because of him. He was easily irritable and was jealous over Sarah for nothing really and the whole point of the romance possibility was worthless. Jacques and Iugurtha are the only characters I liked and sometimes Dr. Humphrey.

Overall, the beginning of the story was good and the stuff happening was enjoyable despite Wildebear being such a bore.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with the digital copy for an honest review.
Profile Image for Grond.
146 reviews1 follower
June 24, 2017
So. I must confess that I am fairly conflicted about Joe Mahoney's 'A Time and a Place'. On the one hand Mahoney relates a pretty rollicking Fantasy-Science Fiction adventure story with a lively, imaginative degree of world building while on the other he saddles that world with one of the least likeable protagonists I've read around in some time. Barnabus J. Wildebear is a strange character, at times willfully ignorant of the world around him, ill suited to the task at hand, yet still trying to act as if his opinions about almost any of the circumstances he is caught up in are remotely valid. His great redeeming character attribute is his phlegmatic nature, able to cope with how weird things are around him with a virtual shrug of his shoulders.

Mahoney clearly has a peculiar sense of humour and with that being expressed in unusual places it is no mean feat that he manages the razors edge of his narrative between the chasm of outright parody on the one hand and a descent into old fashioned pulp fiction on the other. There is a veritable smorgasbord of funky ideas at play in the novel and passages of sneaky thoughtfulness cheek by jowl with subversive goofiness. With wry, tongue in cheek similes and metaphors at his disposal, Mahoney seems to be both winking at the tropes of the genres he is engaged in while encouraging us as readers to give them another look with a fresh set of eyes.

Granted, while Wildebear really bugged the hell out of me as a character Mahoney also deserves credit for taking a passel of relatively archetypical supporting characters and either spinning them off in unexpected ways or giving them much more nuance and depth than expected. Definitely a good read bursting with genre inventiveness and exuberance and (for me) a protagonist who really needed a good smack upside the head!
Profile Image for A.B. Funkhauser.
Author 4 books298 followers
January 23, 2018
QUANTUM MIND TRIPPER

I’m not even going to try and say it better than the writer because that would be impossible. So, to quote author Joe Mahoney from the novel A TIME AND A PLACE:

“Two planets, two civilizations. Profoundly different in appearance and temperament. One clean and fastidious, the other filthy and squalid. One rash and impetuous, the other thoughtful and contemplative. Both intrigued to learn of the other’s existence.”

A Sci-Fi Fantasy with Literary notes, there is so much to love about this book. Nebbish protagonist Wildebear is the last person you’d expect to embark on a multi-planed adventure through a time-space continuum that can literally pull carbon bodies apart if not expertly handled. But he does. His nephew Ridley has fallen under the influence of the comely glass-eyed Iugurtha who is the center point for a war of worlds. The lad must be rescued.

Beings of all stripes enter the field of battle, the most charming being Jacques, a one-eyed tentacled Necronian who will engulf you unless you have something he wants. This is Wildebear’s power. He not only controls the gateway, but has access to an archive of knowledge that can change everything. There are also T’Klee, large sentient Felis catus with blue fur and opposable thumbs that will risk all to stamp out Jacques and the menacing horde he brings.

The magic of A TIME AND A PLACE resides in its rich description of places we’ll never see—not even in dreams—and the people who must manipulate impossible situations to save their kith and kin. Family figures heavily in this tale. It’s what drives Wildebear most. The charm comes from the exchanges between different species and the realization that they all want the same thing. 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark Rayner.
Author 9 books155 followers
May 1, 2022
A Savage Tuckerization!

Full disclosure: Joe Mahoney is a friend of mine and we host a podcast together, so I may be a little biased.

But let’s start with how I decided to consume this novel. As I know Joe pretty well, I figured I would hear his voice while I read the book, so I opted to listen to the audiobook version, which is excellent.

This was a terrible mistake.

You see, one of the characters is named Gordon Rainer. So what, you say? If I had been reading that name, on paper or on my e-reader, I don’t think it would have been problem. But every single time I heard Joe say “Rainer” in his read, I had to resist the urge to reply.

“Why do you keep saying my name, Joe. Why?”

Have I been thoroughly tuckerized by Joe? I suspect so.

What is tuckerized?

Tuckerization “is the act of using a person’s name (and sometimes other characteristics) in an original story as an in-joke.” [Wikipedia]

Can I provide you with textual examples of how Joe has so mercilessly tuckerized me? No. Again, purchasing this novel in audio form has proved to be a tragic error.

However, I do remember several references to Rainer’s thinning hair and some other physical features that arguably apply. That would be the aforementioned “other characteristics.” Where I definitely differ from the character is that I do not have a pencil-thin mustache, and I promise, dear reader, I never will. I also don’t have a British accent. (At least, not a thoroughly convincing one.) Finally, I do not lead a group of intrepid humans attempting to defend Earth from alien invasion. Though on this front, it’s possible Joe captured my true, heroic nature. Perhaps I am being narcissistic, and just hanging too much on a name.

But there are so many names Joe could have chosen. I mean, the main character’s name is Barnabus J. Wildebear, which displays a certain creative – if not deranged – flair, so why choose a name so close to mine for the leader of the Casa Terra?

Maybe I should just be flattered by this whole thing.

Maybe.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering how any of this is going to help you decide whether you should read Joe’s book, or not. If you’re reading this on my website, then I suspect it will intrigue you. Who is this audacious author, tuckerizing my beloved Mark A. Rayner for possibly nefarious reasons? If you’re reading this on Audible, Amazon, Goodreads, etc., the next paragraph is for you.

What I love about this book is that it’s an intelligent and amusing take of the time travel genre. The aforementioned Wildebear goes on an expansive and compelling journey through space, time, and importantly, his own family history. It’s more complicated than he ever thought. As I do IRL, I really enjoy Joe’s dry wit and sly sense of humor. The book is at turns philosophical, literary and often, really gross. (Wildebear experiences a variety of goos, gucks, and gunks in his adventures.)

So, am I really upset by my Tuckerization? Absolutely! I’m mock outraged!
Profile Image for Christine.
472 reviews5 followers
May 21, 2019
Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review
What's got races of sentient cats and psychic blobs, space ships, portals to other worlds, wearable AI, and demons? Joe Mahoney's A Time and a Place. We first meet Barnabus J Wildebear picking up his longtime friend Dr Humphrey at the airport. Wildebear has asked the good doctor to pay him a visit because he's worried about the state of mind of his nephew, whom he has been looking after since the death of his sister orphaned the teenaged boy a couple of years ago. Ridley has undergone a dramatic personality change in the past week: cleaning his bedroom, taking more care with his personal hygiene, and other horrifying changes. The two men inspect Ridley's room for clues and it is then that they meet Iugurtha. A demon. The entity responsible for the changes to Ridley's personality. She granted Ridley a wish. He's a teenaged boy, so he wished his crush liked him back. Iugurtha achieves this by tweaking Ridley as described above, which is what Barnabus picked up on, and not by brain-washing the aforementioned crush. I'd like to segue way here to commend Mahoney on the handling of the moral condunrums in this plot. Standard fantasy fare like brain-washing and mind-reading are treated with a refreshing respect for bodily integrity. It was a delightful surprise. In return for granting his wish, Iugurtha recruited Ridley in a battle against the Necronians. This race of sentient goo plops has invaded and razed world after world. Iugurtha has recruited various military-esque humans, a race of sentient cats called the T'Klee, Ridley, and most recently Barnabus in her quest to stop the Necronians. All Barnabus wants to do is save Ridley, and Iugurtha promises that if he helps her she will return Ridley to him. Barnabus joins. Iugurtha gives him power over the portals she uses to travel between worlds and he does his level best to not hopelessly fumble a war that could seal the fate of the universe. With questionable allies hiding in every closet, layered characters and a plot that kept the pages turning, you won't regret adding A Time and a Place to your shelf.
Profile Image for Dan Herrick.
11 reviews1 follower
October 14, 2020
"The question is not whether the book is written. The question is who is writing the book.”

That sums up much of the time travel / paradox aspects of this story quite neatly. "Time travel" as a tag is appropriate for this novel but (without giving away anything) it should be more appropriately "Spacetime travel" and that's... well, that's in the title. The narrative doesn't focus strictly on the typical SciFi time travel / paradox as the central theme, though that's certainly prevalent, and that's a good thing.

The story itself, although not unique, is compelling and provides a tapestry around which Mahoney artistically embellishes. I appreciate how the author's humor shows up in the book.

Few of the characters, except Jacques and Iugurtha, are robust and empathetic, most especially the protagonist. Bumbling his way through the narrative, self-absorbed and shallow, Wildebear is not exactly likeable, competent, or even outstanding in any sort of way. However, he does manage a bit of personal growth in the end.

Overall, I enjoyed the book tremendously, and appreciated how the background story unfolded in stages.
Profile Image for Leesa Tea.
2 reviews
October 2, 2017
A brilliant, often hilarious, thoughtful and amazing read. Loved it. Surprised me in a few places that made me put the book down for a bit to savour it as I was getting close to the end. I really enjoyed this novel, and recommend it for those who like their science fiction stories to be quirky, human and compelling. A genuinely imaginative storyline. Five stars.
Profile Image for Nancy Clark.
Author 4 books7 followers
November 11, 2017
Picked this book up at the launch party last month in Toronto. Great and fun adventure. The sci-fi lingo not too intrusive or overpowering. The protagonist is an endearing sad sack — I greatly enjoyed the chapters in which our time- and dimension-travelling hero finds himself in the body of an alien, purple-furred cat with opposable thumbs and then a seagull. I like how he learns that time marches inevitably on, and we must learn to live with our failures and forgive ourselves and those around us.
Profile Image for Cheryl Whitty.
904 reviews14 followers
November 22, 2018
Reviewed on http://bookaddict.live,
After being immersed in this audiobook and the plethora of worlds and adventures that Barnabas J. Wildebeast a school teacher on his summer break gets embroiled in an adventure so fantastic it can’t help but carry you along for the ride. What a ride this audio was when Barnabas comes  home to find out that nephew who he has looked after for the last couple of years due to his sister’s death. Ridley has been recruited by a jinn to fight in a war on another world.
This is the start of an adventure so spectacular and imaginative Joe Mahoney sends the reader on such incredible journeys  you don’t want to go home, even if there are some that are weird .
Joe Mahoney also the narrator, I have to say with a voice like that I would listen to anything he narrated. I loved this mesmerising audiobook with its non stop action and adventure.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Joe Mahoney. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,744 reviews35 followers
November 30, 2018
It was the demon Ugertha that drew me in. S/he is a complex character with murky motives. Barnabus must save his nephew, Ridley. He has no idea how he will do it nor what it will cost him. For the first half of the book, my attention was firmly held. There’s these sentient cat-like aliens, the T’Klee, and the evil & dangerous Necronians, who have many tentacles. Barnabus will find allies and enemies around every corner.

The second half of the book got a bit muddled for me. I felt I needed a diagram to keep track of it all. There’s some mind-muddling going on so I was never sure how much of what was simply in Barnabus’s head and how much was happening real time. Plus, there’s the time travel bit. So we have multiple copies of some characters interacting with all of it.

The T’Klee were my favorite bit. I love the idea of large cats with opposable thumbs, their own language & culture, and having to fight the technologically advanced Necronians. Also Swipe was a clever young T’Klee caught up in a bad situation. I was rooting for her the entire time even though I knew things would never be all rainbows and butterflies for her again.

There were few female characters. Besides Swipe, there’s Barnabus’s dead sister (who provides emotional fuel for him and Ridley to get stuff done), and then the scientist Sara (who is always described by her awesome looks first and second and her mental abilities third). Perhaps we can count Ugertha as a female character, but she’s really a mix of all the people she’s absorbed over the years. It would have been nice to have a bit more from the ladies.

The ending rallies a bit. I was still confused about Ugertha who I think becomes known as Jacques… but then there’s also Jack, right? These seem to be all the same ‘demon’ (or alien) at different points in time. But I’m not sure, which is it what bothered me. I want to be sure about such things by the end of a book. Speaking of that ending, it gets rather sentimental and strives for deep thoughts. I found it a little sappy. I wanted a more definitive ending, perhaps following a rousing action scene. All together, it has some fun ideas, a few great scenes, and the T’Klee are most memorable. 3.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Joe Mahoney has narrated his own story. He does a decent job but needs a little polishing all around. He had distinct character voices for all the characters (yay!). There were a few mouth noises here and there. The pacing was just a touch slow but the narration was also clear. The female voices were pretty good though sometimes they could have used a little more femininity. 3.5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Joe Mahoney. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Profile Image for Robert Runte.
Author 25 books18 followers
October 10, 2017
I was the editor on this one. Back cover blurb (which I wrote):

Calling upon Doctor Humphrey for assistance has not been particularly helpful, because the good doctor’s diagnosis of demonic possession is clearly preposterous. Even the demon currently ensconced on the front room couch agrees it’s preposterous. But then, how else to explain the portal to another world through which his nephew and Humphrey have just now disappeared? Barnabus knows their only chance of rescue is for Barnabus J. Wildebear himself to step up and go through that portal.

Thus begins an existential romp across space and time, trampling on Barnabus’ assumptions about causality, freewill, identity, good and evil. Can Barnabus save his nephew—and incidentally, all of humanity?

I loved it, obviously, or I wouldn't have acquired it for the press, but Publisher's Weekly said "Mahoney’s work is great for those who like their speculative fiction thoughtful, eloquent, and messy."


Profile Image for Dale.
Author 13 books32 followers
June 6, 2018
My stepson is totally enamoured of Terry Pratchett. He thinks the Discworld books are the funniest things since Monty Python. At least he and I agree on Monty Python. Which gives you a warning up front – here’s a review of a humorous book by a guy who never understood why so many people love the work of Terry Pratchett. I don't even watch sitcoms.

A Time and a Place strikes me as quintessentially Canadian – oddly polite and mannered and stubbornly domestic, even while an absurd parade of characters, circumstances and magical beings marches through the book. A Time and a Place is as Canadian as The Kids in the Hall or Corner Gas and as absurd, at times, as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

So why didn’t it click with me? Because that’s just the way it goes with humour. But – mark my words – this doesn’t disqualify Joe Mahoney from being the next Terry Pratchett…in fact, it may well be a point in his favour.
Profile Image for Jenn.
11 reviews
September 21, 2017
“A Time and a Place” sucked me in from the moment Barnabus Wildebear finds a certain book in his nephew Ridley's bedroom, and I stayed glued to it until late into the night. A fast-paced sci-fi novel, it follows Wildebear through a series of strange and deadly episodes, all in an effort to save his nephew Ridley. Faced with new worlds and menacing enemies, and confronted by the worst moments from their pasts, they are both forced to adapt and change—but not necessarily for the best. Through its unflinching depiction of conflict, this book packs a surprising emotional punch. By the time you reach the end, you’ll be sad to leave this crazy universe behind. “A Time and a Place” will satisfy hard-core sci-fi fans and newbies alike.
Profile Image for Horus.
394 reviews10 followers
September 22, 2017
This book is well written and fun to read, despite the fact that the main character is more of an anti-hero. Wildebear is well visualized by the author, making him incredibly frustrating to watch bumbling through his bizarre experiences in a misguided attempt to save his nephew. The story itself is imaginative and not wholly predictable. This is a great first novel and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
1 review
October 2, 2017
How great to read a book set in Prince Edward Island, that doesn't involve precocious redheads! In A Time and a Place, the humour sneaks up on you and results in under-your-breath chuckles. I don't usually gravitate to this genre - but I've very glad I did. It was fun, not heavy, not gory - a whimsical Canada-grown read.
Profile Image for Deedra.
3,677 reviews19 followers
December 11, 2018
Audible:What a story! A mans nephew/ward has sudden changes in his behaviour.Upon investigation,we find a books influence might be to blame.This was so well written and intriguing,I did not want to put it down! Joe Mahoney was also a fine narrator.Looking forward to more from him. I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.
May 6, 2019
I chose to listen the audio version of this book. It is recorded by the author himself, which I felt was a terrific way to enjoy his personal perspective of this creative and entertaining story. Science fiction is not my usual choice of story, however the vivid descriptions and wit kept me hooked from beginning to end. I enjoyed this book very much
July 31, 2021
Joe Mahoney tells a deft tale. By turns droll and exuberant, this novel reels you into its strange world with as much pull as the portal that sends Barnabus through time and space. I don't read much science fiction fantasy but I greatly enjoyed this story for its array of characters, the romping plot and lyrical musings on what happens to free will when you hurtle through time and place.
November 5, 2018
I think this is an impressive debut. The style of writing is funny, the themes are ambitious, and the plot has surprising twists.
To list some points of criticism, which are meant to be constructive, I think that the author was a bit too ambitious. Normally, this would take 3 books or more to cover. Compressing it into 1 book meant that it comes across rushed, and there is not enough time for sufficient character development, or exploration of the themes. Which is a pity, because there are quite some interesting thoughts hidden in the book.
I guess the best praise I can give the author is that I will read his next book.
Profile Image for Pat Eroh.
2,580 reviews25 followers
February 26, 2020
"Son of comfort" (the meaning of Barnabas) is a great character. This story has lots of action and plenty of weird directions it takes, considering the time-traveling encountered. This is a very good book.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Jason Shannon.
Author 13 books10 followers
July 31, 2019
A Time and a Place is the debut novel of Joe Mahoney, a local Ontario author. I first met Joe some time ago at a local book fest in Whitby, and his book has been on the back burner ever since. Finally he’s come out with the audiobook – he’s done all the voice acting and editing himself – so I got myself a copy. It’s a science fiction, quasi-fantasy story.

A time and a place follows our hero and narrator Barnabus Wildebear – which is an awesome name. He’s essentially a John Everyman type character. He’s living on Prince Edward Island, he teaches high school English, and he’s the guardian of his teenage nephew, Ridley. We very much get the sense that Wildebear is coasting through life. He’s somewhat lacklustre as a guardian, he’s passive and non-confrontational, and he, we learn during a truth serum session, has never been in a relationship. He does like a good scotch, though.

The book opens with him greeting his friend Dr Humphrey, who’s agreed to come in and speak to Ridley, who’s been acting quite strange lately. The two men discover a somewhat New Agey, occult type book in Ridley’s room, and, when Wildebear speaks the name of the book, he sets in motion the events of the novel.

The book itself is a portal and transportation device, controlled by a demon, a genie, or an alien, or something else, and Ridley, it seems, has been seduced by this creature. Now Barnabus must involve himself in affairs from other worlds so he can get his nephew back.

One thing about Joe's style - he writes with this sort of absurdist acceptance of the fantastical reality he's created. Wildebear is your average John Everyman character, not living, as far as he was aware, in a sci-fi universe of jinns and interstellar war. Then he gets sucked into this, with Men in Black invading his home and Helena Blavatsky’s book coming to life, and inhabiting the body of a seagull, and at no point does he break down in shock and awe, cradling himself in the fetal position. In other words, there's no realist commentary on the surreal. Instead, a blind acceptance - which was mildly jarring at first. It almost took me out of it. Until that absurdist acceptance came through - everything is just absurd and there's no point in dwelling on it. There's a comedy here too, slightly muted but there. I actually laughed out loud when Wildebear was arguing with Jack Poirier. This all interweaves into Joe's style, which is actually quite pronounced for a first novel.

There’s some good philosophical stuff in here too. He muses on issues of predestination and free will, good and evil as it relates to intentionality – some deep stuff for a first novel, especially one with squid-like supervillains and anthropomorphic cats.

As for the audio performance, Mahoney’s done all the voice acting and editing himself. The editing is completely seamless, and he does a pretty good job of portraying different voices – better than I’d expect from a production performed by the author.

I enjoyed this novel, more than I thought I would. Mahoney writes with a practised wit. Parts of the novel seemed a little rushed, and there’s questions left unanswered, but overall I enjoyed it.
4 reviews
September 10, 2020
What a great book - couldn't put it down! I found Wildebeer to be a fascinating character study; In some ways a typical man of his generation so easy for us to identify with him, but unlike most of us he finds great strength from within and many will admire that. Joe Mahoney places this quirky character into a strange and fascinating set of fantasy worlds creating a wild, wild ride! An intricate plot laced with Mahoney humour and excellent writing makes this a must read for all lovers of good books.
Profile Image for Andrew Weston.
Author 31 books272 followers
July 6, 2018
Barnabus J. Wildebear isn’t having a good day. Or is that a week? Perhaps year . . . or decade or two? It’s hard to tell when you’re jumping backward and forward through time and the cosmos in an effort to save your nephew – and the human race, I might add – from a fate worse than mass extinction.
The thing is, that fate might be set in stone. As Barnabus learns to his cost, you can’t change the past. As for the future? Well, that’s just the present waiting to happen . . . for the umpteenth time . . . I think?
This is the first time – in this lifetime – I’ve read anything by Joe Mahoney, and it won’t be the last. “A Time and a Place” provides an entertaining frolic through the imaginary blue and yellow purple hills of someone desperately in need of therapy. And I loved it! Written in a Neil Gaimanesque style of witty prose and existential, thought-provoking dilemmas, it will captivate you, entertain you, and keep you out of mischief until it’s time for tea.
Excellent stuff . . . and highly recommended.
**********
A blue and yellow purple hills of a story if ever there was one.
Profile Image for Timothy Neesam.
449 reviews3 followers
November 25, 2017
How often does one get to read a book involving time travel and aliens, set in Prince Edward Island? While trying to find out why his nephew is acting oddly, Barnabus Jehosophys Wildebear discovers he is able to create gates to other dimensions and times, gates that his nephew Ridley and friend Dr. Humphrey have both gone through. Wildebear travels through time, to other planets and into the minds of other people and animals both alien and domestic, and discovers his nephew has joined a war against the relentless Necronians. This book sprawls, wildly (I didn't mention the shapeshifting demon Igurtha or the sentient artificial intelligence Sebastian or the warrior cats), yet it all fits together. It's a riotous read and thoroughly enjoyable. Recommended for anyone with a bit of imagination and willingness to go with the flow.
Profile Image for David Donaldson.
Author 1 book2 followers
December 3, 2017
Out of the gates, Mahoney's A Time and a Place feels like Lovecraft if Lovecraft had a sense of humor. The plot takes you along quite a journey, complete with time travel and other alien worlds. If Mahoney had maintained the dry humor of Wildebear throughout the whole story he likely could have pulled off a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy vibe. But the humor gets lost at times and the protagonist's point of view comes across more naive than anything else through the middle chunk of the book.

Nevertheless I enjoyed the story, especially the time travel elements and the unclear motivations of the supporting cast. You never know what they want which left me guessing till the very end. All in all a fun read!
Profile Image for Bonnie Dale Keck.
4,668 reviews51 followers
July 23, 2017
Not kindle unlimited, pretty sure got it as one of my here's a free book, no strings, but really hope you find the time to read and review it things.

No idea of the genre, very odd space opera, maybe; .Doctor Who on acid? {Thus begins an existential romp across space and time, trampling on Barnabus' assumptions.}

Too much going on in the book to pick any one thing or event, and don't like risking spoilers anyway. Liked it but didn't luv it, BUT NOT saying it was bad, just not totally my type or maybe the mood, but seemed as if in places it dragged a bit {although that could just be because have to use a vocal reader}.
Profile Image for Jim Donahue.
12 reviews
March 27, 2018
An unusual, witty SF/time travel romp that also takes a turn toward the serious at times, and capably pulls it off.
Profile Image for Catherine Fitzsimmons.
Author 7 books12 followers
January 17, 2023
This was an interesting book. It went a lot of different places, but while I would have liked more extrapolation on a few of them, they all wrapped up pretty nicely at the end.
Profile Image for Melanie.
32 reviews5 followers
December 23, 2019
I liked A Time and a Place and there’s a lot to like in Mahoney’s novel. I loved the T’Klee, the race of alien cats (distantly related to felis catus) with opposable thumbs. At one point in his journey, Barnabus inhabits other animals (including a T’Klee) as part of his education and it reminded me of Merlin teaching Wart about the responsibilities of power in T.H. White’s The Sword in the Stone.
At another point, Barbabus uses his new ability to time travel in an attempt to save his wife before she died. Replaying the events of the night again and again, Barnabus fails, no matter what he attempts to change. This trope alludes to Groundhog Day and serves to reinforce the hypothesis that the past protects itself from interference. But then, Barnabus discovers that others have successfully messed with the timeline, throwing him and that hypothesis under the bus.
Unfortunately, Barnabus seems pulled through the events of the story by external forces and lacks the level of agency I like to see in a protagonist. Much of the time he comes across as bewildered. I actually thought B. Wildebear a clever bit of wordplay until the author disabused me of the notion.
A Time and a Place is a complex story and an ambitious novel, but I found that the execution wasn’t quite up to the premise. It’s still an entertaining and worthwhile story and I hope you consider giving this Canadian speculative novel a read over the holidays.
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