'Dark Matter' by Blake Crouch is a romp through problems with time travel

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/03/19/dark-matter-by-blake-crouc.html

I don’t want to spoil the book but I wouldn’t describe it as a “time travel story” per se.


Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler is the time travel story that puts all others in perspective.

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More book recommendations please! Yay for book recs!

(Also, Dark Matter is great, and it’s not really a time travel book, which is good!)

If one is looking for a time travel story, I really enjoyed This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal-El Mohtar and Max Gladstone. A quick read, but a really enjoyable and different narrative style.

I was a little confused by the initial description of this novel as a “time travel” story, but then I gradually realized that I’d read it and thoroughly enjoyed it about a year ago. Reminded me a bit of Fred Pohl’s “Coming of the Quantum Cats” from 1986.

Dude wants to change his past. Dude from the past he wants to change to doesn’t appreciate it. Action ensues. They do not “travel in time,” but it is a time travel story as much as a multi-verse/existential reality one.

Guy doesn’t change his past nor does he travel to the past, he travels to a parallel universe where the past played out differently. Protagonist then travels through a succession of other parallel universes (some radically different than his own) trying to get home. Describing that plot as a story about time travel is kind of like describing Sliders as a TV show about time travel.


I read this a few months ago; it’s a multiverse story where you get to root for and against different iterations of the same character. Highly recommended!

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Any similarities to the film “Primer”?

John Scalzi books:
Head On (sequel to Lock In)
The Collapsing Empire, and the sequel
The Consuming Fire (there’s a third that’s still only in hardcover that I’ll get in paperback)
Peter Clines books:
Paradox Bound
The Fold (this has some big similarities to Dark Matter)
Hugh Howey, Wool (will get the other 2 in this trilogy next month)
Jack Campbell, The Genesis Fleet books
Robert J. Sawyer, Quantum Night
Rob Reid books:
*Year Zero *
After On

A bit; if you liked Primer (I loved it), you’ll probably like Dark Matter and The Fold.

The Last Emperox actually hasn’t been published at all yet, it drops April 14.

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The Wayfarer’s series, starting with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers

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omg. is this actually a single, self-contained, begins-and-ends-in-the-same-book story? not “first in the :infinity: issue dark matter series”? will wonders never cease. gonna have to pick this one up, i think.

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This book is not in any sense a time travel story. That honestly makes me think the poster hasn’t read it and got it confused with Recursion by the same author, which IS a time travel story and quite a good one.

If you act quickly, Tor is giving away John Scalzi’s Redshirts (ends March 20th, 11:59 PM EDT): https://ebookclub.tor.com/

I’ve enjoyed his books - Dark Matter, Recursion, Wayward Pines series . He manages to add a unique twist to his stories that makes them unique even though they tend to utilize well worn tropes.

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I know a lot of people enjoy his stuff, but for me he’s the Dan Brown of SF. In this book, he does not understand, or ignores, that a subset of a transfinite number is still transfinite, so the problem that happens at the end of the book should have been happening as soon as the McGuffin existed in his universe. Wayward Pines had similar problems, at least for me – mysterious things happen and they’re explained in ways that would actually not work.