Time Travel discussion

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Book Club Discussions > MIDNIGHT'S PARK: General Discussion

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message 1: by Amy, Queen of Time (last edited Dec 14, 2013 09:02PM) (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
This month we're reading one of my favorite time travel books. I'm interested to see what others think of it. Multiple thousands of people mysteriously disappear without a trace and Daniel Brandt finds himself in the middle of an adventurous attempt to find out what happened to them. Adventure, romance, and time travel all rolled into one makes this a fun read.

THE BOOK
Midnight's Park by Brandon Spacey
Midnight's Park

THE AUTHOR
Brandon Spacey Brandon Spacey
Spacey is the author of 3.5 books that mainly take place in the same universe. His characters grow on you like mold on cheese. Okay, that's a bad simile, but they're great characters. Spacey's one of those guys who does everything with gusto whether it's brewing his own beer, playing guitar, solving Rubik's cubes, creating websites, or making phone apps.

READING PERIOD
December 15, 2013 - January 15, 2014

PRE-READING QUESTIONS
1. Thousands of people disappeared into thin air. What do you think happened to them. Best guess.


message 2: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Pardon my brevity. I'll beef up the introduction later this week when I'm not traveling cross-country and relying on my cell phone for internet access.


message 3: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
I think if people literally disappeared, my first thought would be where did they go? I would assume teleportation before I would assume they ceased to exist. If they can not be found elsewhere, I would have to do some serious reflecting on life, existence and the world in general.


message 4: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Spacey (brandonspacey) | 11 comments Making phone apps, Amy? Ha! Thanks for the kind words. Especially the bit about the moldy cheese. ;)

When the disappearances start happening, it's widely thought that there has been a rapturous event of some sort. Though dismissed pretty easily - it's generally agreed that would all happen at once - it seems at least a strong candidate.

Maybe most people don't believe in the rapture, but if you consider the fact that hundreds of thousands of people physically just popped out of existence, I think one would be forced to reckon with an entirely new set of beliefs, as Lincoln mentioned.

I think it's funny that you would assume teleportation firstly. That's not the first thing that pops into my head, since I don't know many people who have access to a device of such capability. That sounds borderline conspiracy at that point, Lincoln. I like it.


message 5: by Amy, Queen of Time (last edited Dec 15, 2013 06:20PM) (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Brandon wrote: "Making phone apps, Amy? Ha! Thanks for the kind words. Especially the bit about the moldy cheese. ;)"

You can blame late night phone typing. :p

Can you post some links for where people can find your book? I'd do it, but I'm feeling a bit copy-and-paste handicapped over here.


message 6: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Spacey (brandonspacey) | 11 comments Surely. My website. Available in all formats. Hey.


message 7: by Paul (new)

Paul | 341 comments Amy wrote: "1. Thousands of people disappeared into thin air. What do you think happened to them. Best guess. ..."

In the occurence Brandon describes, with the resulting confusion, disasters, grief, loss, and inevitable charlatons, my first guess might be terrorists, maybe, or unknown invaders, but from what country or galaxy and with what weapons? And why? I wouldn't guess the real reason in "Midnight's Park," which is why I smiled when I read it. Great concept.


message 8: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
I'm about 20% of the way in right now and enjoying the premise of the disappearance. Also like the main character in the sense that I recognize him. I used to have a roommate who behaved like him- Lived on coffee and cigarettes and critiqued women constantly. I don't miss him, but Daniel is giving me flashbacks.
One thing that is driving me crazy though is the scene changes. The characters arrive one place only to leave again without finishing their conversations. We're at a 7-11, nope, going to the house, wait maybe lets talk hours later in a bar... nope, back to the house. This being interrupted by another couple characters having the same spatial crisis. Lets go for drinks after work at this place we will describe to the reader as having fried food and poetry readings with a waitress named Mandy, but then, Psych! We're leaving to go watch a movie instead. (view spoiler) Made me want to chuck my Kindle at someone today while I was trying to read during lunch at Chipotle. Agghh! We just got here! Why are we leaving!? Please tell me your characters will make up their minds soon, Brandon. I really want to like this story and not injure someone with a flying Kindle.

I do really like the casual atmosphere of the book so far and the premise. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.


message 9: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
I agree with you Nathan,

Does Daniel have reason to trust this beautiful girl who happens to show up and knows his name...lets go somewhere else and talk...or prepare to talk...discuss quantum physics to estblish the science fiction of the book however not actually have a conversation about who the crap are you and what are we doing now? I am not sure where you are but I made it as far as the stair well.

Enjoying the book. Not sure I would react the way Daniel is so far. I know its a crazy circumstance for certain so no reaction would be sufficient I believe for me.


message 10: by Debbie (new)

Debbie | 84 comments I, am also at the part with the stairwell. I agree with Nathan, however, it didn't make me feel as violent :)
I keep wondering why Daniel hasn't asked Amelie

"where did they all go?"

Right when they met, she said she knew! Instead they are chatting about computer programming and quantum physics while they move from place to place and she remains wet.

That being said, I am really into it! I read secretly under a pillow during family movie night with my husband and son. I also had it open on my desk at work yesterday, sorta hidden under some papers and my keyboard!


message 11: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
That being said, I am really into it! I read secretly under a pillow during family movie night with my husband and son. I also had it open on my desk at work yesterday, sorta hidden under some papers and my keyboard!

Well Brandon,

Looks like you got Debbie right where you want her, she is unable to put it down. Reading during work and family time...that is quite the compliment. What was the family movie? Also, I hope your job is not fork lift supervisor...LOL


message 12: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Okay. So here's

READING QUESTION 1:
Would you react in the same way as Daniel to trying to solve the problem of the disappearances? If not, how would you react?


message 13: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
I assumed that all the scene changes were necessary because of Daniel's need to keep running.

I'm with Debbie though. When I read this I was sneaking it at home and reading it during my lunch break. Mainly, I loved the characters. I disliked Daniel at first, but then he grew on me. I was a little taken aback by his rushing headlong into trying to save the world/ his girlfriend. I'd not risk all like that unless it were my daughter missing. But it seems in his character to act this way.


message 14: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
Daniel's response would be fairly unique because (view spoiler) I would certainly be suspect of the accusation, but it would no doubt bother my conscience. It would certainly add a level of seriousness to the situation that I'm not sure Daniel feels. He seems mostly concerned about lighting his cigarettes and keeping other people from hitting on Amalie before he has had a chance to properly hit on her. He seems to be going with the flow and while he is assisting Amalie, he does not seem to be especially proactive so far of his own volition. (I'm only 50% in so far so maybe that changes)


message 15: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Good point, Nathan. He does have a different type of burden on his shoulders. I think you're right; I'd be more dubious about it being my fault.

Yeah, Daniel is fairly aloof, isn't he? He does step it up a notch later. I think that's why he grew on me because he's the a**hole who redeems himself.


message 16: by Paul (new)

Paul | 341 comments Nathan wrote: "He seems mostly concerned about lighting his cigarettes and keeping other people from hitting on Amalie before he has had a chance to properly hit on her...."

Daniel has yet to learn an important lesson in life: "You can't have 'em all." It can only lead to trouble. And with all the smoking in this book -- in the cars, restaurants, people's homes -- I thought I'd have to take my Kindle outside to air out.

But it's hard to judge Daniel's reaction in light of such a tremendous, unexplainable, catastrophe that hit him personally along with so many others. Anyone might jump on some wild possibility to set things right, as remote as it might be.


message 17: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
If it is indeed Daniel's fault or if I were in his place I think I would be willing to do almost anything to make things right.

We had the giveaway discussion question about the moral questions of breaking the law to make things right...Yes I think I would be willing to trespass or steal or lie...Not sure if I would kill. I would want to make things right both if it was my fault and also, in Daniel's case get his girlfriend back.


message 18: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Spacey (brandonspacey) | 11 comments Daniel wasn't proactive because the person on whom his character is based wasn't proactive. Lazy, naive, and just completely blank when it comes to what should happen next. That's not an excuse though. I wrote most of that book over ten years ago. Sorry if it makes you violent.

Most of the people I hung out with when I was in my late teens and early twenties were just like that. We are on the way to save the world. But we have to stop and have coffee first. Characters like that might not be believable, but trust me, they exist. I was one.


message 19: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
Daniel's current attitude is definitely not beyond the realm of believability for me. I have certainly known people who take that "It's not my problem" position, even in situations they are clearly the culprit for. His preference to be excited about Amalie and the time travel possibilities instead of dealing with his potential culpability in the disappearances seems in keeping with his character so far. So even if his attitude is not what I would hope to feel, it seems consistent for him.
The parts that have most stretched my ability to suspend disbelief have not been character based or even time travel based. I think I go in with a pretty open mind in those departments based on the genre. The parts that have made me narrow my eyes suspiciously have been the hazards the characters have faced. (view spoiler) That being said, I'm still turning the pages and enjoying myself. In the coffee shop currently, and I like meeting Daniel's other friends. The casual nature of the dialogue in the book goes a long way in keeping the story lighthearted and fun.


message 20: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
Stayed up and finished it last night. It was a fun ride. The characters definitely make the story. I agree with Amy that they grow on you. The interpersonal dynamics between the characters were the most fun. I grudgingly recognized a few relationship attitudes from my own life in the story. I recognized a few friends too. I think that intimate view into the characters motivations kept me turning the pages the most. You definitely feel like you could recognize these people in real life. Great job with that, Brandon. Definitely a good time.


message 21: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Spacey (brandonspacey) | 11 comments Thanks, Nathan. I'm glad you enjoyed it and found something you could relate to.


message 22: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
QUESTION 2:
Do these characters resemble your group of friends or the friends of your youth? If not, what's different or the same?

QUESTION 3:
Do you personally relate to any of the characters or recognize them in some other way?

QUESTION 4:
What was your reaction to learning the reason for all the ghosting?

QUESTION 5:
What's your reaction to the ending?

QUESTION 6:
Which were your favorite characters you'd like to encounter again?


message 23: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
Question #2 is a definite yes. I feel like knew some of these characters. I saw reflections of people I knew in different ones at different times based on their behavior. I think Brandon did a great job of capturing the narcissism of young 20 somethings who


message 24: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
... And typing on this phone is a fail. Grr. To be continued with a real keyboard.


message 25: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
I was blaming the goodreads mobile app Nathan it will sometimes cut off last words or lines.


message 26: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
I was trying to say that Brandon did a great job accessing the attitudes of young twenty-something's who, while smart and well educated enough to be aware of the things going on in the world, (even commonly prideful of that knowledge) are also reticent to acknowledge those things as being more important than what is going on in their personal lives. In that sense, I definitely have met these characters.
#3
I related to these characters most in some of the atypical relationship dynamics. These characters do not follow a cookie cutter path in the romance department and I think that kept things fresh and interesting. Also made it seem more accessible.
#4
I was a little meh on the method of the ghostings. I really liked the originality of the idea. I have never seen it done like that so it got points there, and the use of quantum foam in any explanation always earns points for fun, but the application seemed vague for my taste. If I read it again I may glean more sense from it, but I was definitely reading for the characters, not plot, and the time travel seemed almost a minor detail of the story.
#5
The ending was not predictable so I was happy about that. Not sure how much I liked it in the sense of tying up loose ends, but I wasn't big on the plot in general so it was mostly the personal relationships resolution I was curious about. It kept me guessing. Much like the rest of the book, Daniel's choices were not the ones I would have made, but that kept it interesting.
#6
I think the female characters were my favorite. Daniel's chronic indecisiveness in regards to women made me disconnect from him but I liked some of the women. Priscilla was actually my favorite. I think the moral choice she had to make at the end was the most interesting and I respected that she stayed consistent. I think she made the most compelling moral argument, while Daniel couldn't see beyond his own personal circle far enough to "understand Priscilla's major bitch with the whole thing." He claimed to be her friend, but failed her pretty miserably in my opinion by not really empathizing at all.


message 27: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
And Lincoln, I totally agree that the mobile app has some issues. Definitely not as user friendly as the desktop site.


message 28: by Debbie (new)

Debbie | 84 comments I just finished the book. I need some time to process.


message 29: by Debbie (new)

Debbie | 84 comments I truly can't wait until people start discussing the end!

QUESTION #5
My reaction to the ending? Ha! I was SHOCKED! Completely shocked. I have a lot of questions, however.

QUESTION #6
I guess I like Annabelle best. She surely gets the crappy end of the stick ;)
Nah, Amalie. I liked Amalie best. I just would like her to wear a bra. Maybe I'm wrong but I think most women are very uncomfortable without a bra...


message 30: by Paul (new)

Paul | 341 comments QUESTION 2:
Do these characters resemble friends of your youth?

Well, yes and no. In one sense they remind me of friends from my early twenties, connected one way or another through the university. Like Daniel, it seems we all managed to show up at the same locations for beverages and discussions, though conversations rarely included quantum physics. I'm not sure how we managed to coordinate before cellphones.

QUESTION 3:
Do you personally relate to any of the characters?

Only in their tendency to make immediate, if questionable, decisions, then pushing on without a second thought. Like them, our youthful decisions seemed perfectly sane at the time, though in retrospect I wonder how we survived some of the "adventures." On the other hand, I don't recall our decisions being so consistently stupid as Daniel's. (No offense, Dan. This comment relies on my selective memory, not youthful wisdom on my part.) But here are examples: 1) Most people would know not to run full speed in blind darkness in unfamiliar surroundings, 2) Most wouldn't go out to a coffee shop right after committing a felony, 3) Lock your door!! Especially when you're going Time Traveling, and, 4) If you live in Texas, a state with more miles of highway than most countries, you should know that there are times when it's wise to call a tow truck.

QUESTION 4:
What was your reaction to learning the reason for all the ghosting?

I was quite pleased with the "ghosting." Something different, a Time Travel catastrophe with worldwide implications that I hadn't seen before. And it all makes sense if you let it. Sort of. Well done, Brandon!

QUESTION 5:
What's your reaction to the ending?

I liked the ending, and especially Daniel & Amalie's travels just prior to it. I would have liked to spend more time with them there. There are unanswered questions, of course.

QUESTION 6:
Which were your favorite characters you'd like to encounter again?

Tough one, but I've settled on Amalie. Hopefully, she can answer the questions.


message 31: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (last edited Jan 03, 2014 08:03AM) (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
I have been reading and enjoying the book I am almost done now...but I kept thinking what can I contribute to the discussion. When something major happens I will jump in and expound...

After lots of pages...I have come to a conclusion. Time travel is cool, but you can not disengage the realness of life all for the name of adventure.

This I feel is a good thing although frustrating at times. When I am reading an epic fantasy its implied that people sleep at night, eat lunch, have potty breaks. None of that is mentioned in the attempt to push the adventure forward.

I suppose the characters are concerned with the ghosters and making things right, However, I really need a smoke, hair cut some lunch and oh yeah I need my Jeep, despite the dangers...

Daniel seems anxious to time travel and or talk about their first trip back when they come back but now its down on his list.

Dentist appointment
Get bananas
Lunch
Time Travel
Save hundreds of thousands from ghosting
Haircut
Dinner

Not a slam on the book, just unusual, and the characters are more the story than the quest.


message 32: by Tej (new)

Tej (theycallmemrglass) | 1728 comments Mod
Lincoln wrote: "I have been reading and enjoying the book I am almost done now...but I kept thinking what can I contribute to the discussion. When something major happens I will jump in and expound...

After lots..."


I've thought about that often in general and some escapism fiction do sometimes narrate such things to add realism even in fantasy fiction but is it really neccessary? Can it not be assumed characters do their real life necessities without it being implied or mentioned in this story? I'm sure for instance, James Bond needs to crap each day but do we want Ian Fleming telling us that? OK, thats a gross example, sorry!

Or are you saying this story in particular would be benefit more with such details? I admit it is nice to give down to earth touches in any fictional world setting but does this story need it?


message 33: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
What I am saying is that thus far 70% complete. This book is about Daniel and his ghosted girlfriend and mysterious other woman, and yet another old girlfriend...

It's so much character development the time travel and righting the world seem to be after thoughts.

Not a bad thing, just unusual.


message 34: by Tej (new)

Tej (theycallmemrglass) | 1728 comments Mod
Lincoln wrote: "What I am saying is that thus far 70% complete. This book is about Daniel and his ghosted girlfriend and mysterious other woman, and yet another old girlfriend...

It's so much character developme..."


I got ya. Forgot to mention, love the order of your Daniel's To Do list btw, lol.


message 35: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Ha. Just reading Lincoln's list reminds me why I liked Daniel's character so much. He really was my favorite character. I think it's that Daniel's so much the opposite of me in every way that makes him intriguing. Such strange priorities. Such lack of worry for the things I'd worry about most. Such forgetfulness of the dangers surrounding him. Reading about his exploits is kind of like the way that I used to play role-playing games: taking on the skin of a person that is so very unlike me in order to experience the rush of their differences.

I also liked Callie. She and Walter show up in several of Brandon's other books. But Callie's the constant. Callie's and Walter's relationship really bugs me because I want them to end up together because of their easy friendship and familiarity with each other.

Did I not understand the relationship between Daniel and Annabelle correctly or is nobody else weirded out by the ending?


message 36: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
QUESTION 2:
Do these characters resemble your group of friends or the friends of your youth? If not, what's different or the same?

I think a few of my friends resemble a few of my friends in high school. Worried about lunch, and discussing girls, over emphasizing looks…not worried about the future, or growing up. Luckily they grew out of the “Daniel” phase…I think.

QUESTION 3:
Do you personally relate to any of the characters or recognize them in some other way?

I think I personally relate to the characters through my experiences with friends when in my younger years.

QUESTION 4:
What was your reaction to learning the reason for all the ghosting?

(view spoiler) Pretty cool explanation of a totally sci-fi dilemma I like it. I did not appreciate Daniel’s lack of action. He did want to fix what he had done but when he was unbusy with his nothing life.

QUESTION 5:
What's your reaction to the ending?

(view spoiler)

QUESTION 6:
Which were your favorite characters you'd like to encounter again?

I think Priscilia was pure hearted and a free spirit. (view spoiler)


message 37: by Debbie (new)

Debbie | 84 comments Yeah!! Lincoln, I've been waiting for someone to ask these questions of the end!! (view spoiler). So, I shoved in a few questions there. Sorry. Anyone have opinions or insight?


message 38: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
Oh my Debbie!

That is so much worse. (view spoiler)

Thanks Debbie


message 39: by Paul (new)

Paul | 341 comments Seems to me . . . (view spoiler) I want Amalie back to explain all this. :-)


message 40: by Amy, Queen of Time (last edited Jan 07, 2014 09:54AM) (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Okay. I did read it right and Annabelle really is Daniel's (view spoiler)

It's been a year since I read this, but don't Callie and Walter have a connection to the company the quantum computer were stolen from?


message 41: by Howard (last edited Jan 07, 2014 10:08AM) (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Amy has a question, but should know better.

Regardless of characters, it's always the computer's fault.


message 42: by Nathan, First Tiger (last edited Jan 07, 2014 02:01PM) (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
One thing I was curious about was how (view spoiler) Yet another brain cramp.


message 43: by Brandon (last edited Jan 07, 2014 06:29PM) (new)

Brandon Spacey (brandonspacey) | 11 comments Hey guys, thanks for reading the book. I hope overall you all enjoyed it. I'll try to answer some of your questions.

Yes, you had it right, Debbie. (view spoiler)

And the part about Callie... (view spoiler)

Again, thanks for the comments, compliments and discussion. Glad you all enjoyed it.


message 44: by Paul (new)

Paul | 341 comments Hey, Brandon, thanks for the explanations -- which make perfect sense to experienced Time Travelers like ourselves -- and for the original concepts and enjoyable read. Well done. I downloaded one of your short stories as well. Looks good. Thanks.


message 45: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
Thanks for the explanation Daniel and for the other readers who clued me in. I suppose I was the confused Anna standing next to a head stone in the rain...going "What just happened!" Sometimes even with the obvious staring me in the face...or in the eyes...I tend to over analyze. Try to explain the situation with all manner of sci-fi and fantastical explanations that sometimes escape logic. Like the idea of Anna never existing, and that Daniel made her up in her mind...

I did enjoy the read. I probably would of been annoyed to be your friend back in the day...LOL.

Thanks a lot!


message 46: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
Thanks Brandon. I appreciate the explanation. That makes sense. It was definitely a fun read. Looking forward to checking out your other books. Just started Shedding Sadness.


message 47: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
If anyone ever does get access to all the ether code of the universe, I hope they make a backup copy before they go tinkering.


message 48: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Nathan wrote: "If anyone ever does get access to all the ether code of the universe, I hope they make a backup copy before they go tinkering."

Ha. Good point.


message 49: by Jan (new)

Jan (jcdlc) | 2 comments So, has Anna always been a result of Amalie and Daniel time traveling and Daniel not being aware of it from the beginning of the book?

As in, the only reason she had ever existed in th first place is because Damalie traveled back in time and had a child? If this is so, am I right in thinking that the original world they lived in did not include the ghosters to begin with? If so, Priss was so right.


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