Sunday, March 4, 2018

Book Review: 'A Time-Traveller's Best Friend' by W.R. Gingell

Tasmanian author W.R. Gingell is a writer you have to love even before reading. Her bio data simply states ``I write books. Think a lot. Read more. I'm a Christian, like bacon, and slouching in front of the fire to write. So far five books varying from YA fantasy to Christian to Sci-Fi have been birthed and having only read this A TIME-TRAVELLER'S BEST FRIEND this reader can only judge the sci-fi sector of output. It is a delight.

As usual the author's synopsis is the best-condensed concept of the action: ` a collection of short stories that follow the adventures of two main characters through a non-linear timeline. Meet Marx. Meet Kez. Marx is a small, angry man with a time machine and a chip on his shoulder. Kez is a homicidal little girl with a price on her head and a penchant for kicking people where it hurts the most. When Marx crash-lands on Second World, he has no idea that he has plunged headfirst into the middle of an assassination plot- or a one day war that's about to make his day a very bad one. From their first meeting at gun point, to their sometimes turbulent and always sarcastic relationship, Kez and Marx leave a trail of destruction and death behind them. Kez holds the secret to unfettered travel in time and space, and it's not just the Time Corp who want her. Join Kez and Marx's adventures in time and space as they try to stay one step ahead of doom, certain death, and the Time Corp.'

But not only are the stories fun and excitingly pace, they also show the flare for humor and a style that puts Wendee in the forefront of YA Sci-Fi authors. To wit, `An alarm went off overhead. Marx jumped, beaning himself on the open instrument panel, and spent the next minute yelling the worst words he knew in Third World dialect. Since his grip of Third World wasn't the most exhaustive, these consisted mainly of words like `cabbage',' freight train', and `eggs!'; but Third World Dialect had a bite to it that made even commonplace words sound rude, and the exercise was satisfying. "Turn that flamin' alarm off!" he ordered the computer, rubbing his head; but the computer, as he'd known it would, merely replied with the formal `unable to comply with your request at this time'. `The War on Second World lasted exactly one day. One day, and then the planet went boom!' You get the idea....

Style, creative patterns of thought, and a hefty does of pizzazz make Wendee Gingell a new voice to read and to watch. Grady Harp, May 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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