Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union is a ground-breaking alternate history novel that was released in 2007. Combining the best of alternate history story telling and hardboiled detective fiction, it's a bit like Harry Turtledove meets Raymond Chandler.

Description of Meyer Landsman:
He has the memory of a convict, the balls of a fireman, and the eyesight of a housebreaker. When there is crime to fight, Landsman tears around Sitka like a man with his pant leg caught on a rocket. It's like there's a film score playing behind him, heavy on the castanets. The problem comes in the hours when he isn't working, when his thoughts start blowing out the open window of his brain like pages from a blotter. Sometimes it takes a heavy paperweight to pin them down.

Chabon asks what if the Jewish state of Isreal never gained a foothold in the Middle East in 1948? What if, instead the Jewish refugees from the Second World War found sanctuary in the most unlikely quarters - Sitka, Alaska?

The novel opens with the imminent threat of the 'Reversion' of the Sitka settlement to the U.S. and the displacement of the Jewish settlers to points unknown after building a culture and a community for 60 years.

Meyer Landsman, an alcoholic homicide detective at the end of his rope, finds himself investigating the murder of a John Doe in the Zamenhof, the rundown hotel that Landsman calls home. As Landsman begins to unravel the identity of the murder victim with the aid of his partner and cousin, Berko Shemets, they find that a number of people don't want the murder solved including Landsman's superior officer and ex-wife Bina Gelbfish. Bina has the unpleasant task of informing Landsman and Shemets that the squad has been ordered to solve all cases or declare them unsolvable before Reversion occurs in two months time.

Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and numerous other accolades the novel is well worth the read.

You can check out my full review here - Andy's Anachronisms review of Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Beatles Time Travel - Get Back

It was recently reported by the Hollywood Reporter that actor Jason Lee (My Name is Earl, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Chasing Amy) is working on directing an independent film tentatively called "Get Back".

The film will be produced by Matt Berenson whose questionable track record as a producer includes Let's Go to Prison and the Daddy Day Care/Camp franchise. The story will involve two music-obsessed friends who travel back in time to 1966 London where one gets involved in a love triangle with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Whether or not it will include any of the other Beatles or more importantly any of their signature music remains to be seen.

Just a little anachronistic foot-note in 1966 John Lennon was still married to Cynthia Lennon so technically it would make the situation even more complicated.

No word on when we might see this in theatres.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Road To the Multiverse - Family Guy

Family Guy's Season 8 debut "Road to the Multiverse" found Stewie and Brian leaping between alternate universes a la Sliders with Stewie's hand-held 'timer'. The jokes are often crude, offensive and sometimes fall flat, but when they work, they're brilliant.

They start off with a universe where Christianity doesn't exist and as result the "Dark Ages" didn't happen(?) which means science and technology has surpassed that of their own universe. When Brian asks Stewie what happened to all the religious inspired art and culture, Stewie takes him to see the alternate version of what is painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The second universe they visit is a Flinstone's inspired one with the obvious Peter/Fred and Lois/Wilma cliches. They try way too hard to riff on the Flinstone's penchant for adding ROCK-like suffixes to words. The result is a SMURF-esque mess where ROCK becomes verb/noun/adjectives.

The third universe finds Quahog and the United States as a Japanese version that was conquered during the Second World War. It's no Philip K. Dick "Man in the High Castle", but it wasn't meant to be. Played for cheap fart jokes and racial/cultural stereotypes it's one of the weaker scenes for me.

The fourth universe they arrive in seems normal at first until they discover that everyone has two heads, one happy one sad. Some fairly lame jokes follow only for the scene to end with two-headed baby Stewie making out with himself. Ewww.

The fifth universe they jump to finds them stuck in a glacier with the device out of reach of both of them. Brian finds when he wags his tail the ice melts a little, so Stewie must get him "worked up" to the point where his tail melts through and they can reach the device.

The next universe, their sixth lands them in bizarre universe where everyone has to poop all at the exact same moment and are dancing on the spot trying to hold it in. WTF?

The seventh universe they visit finds them in a Disney-esque animated world (done in the style of Beauty and Beast) where Peter extols the virtue of pie, while Lois and anthropomorphic animals and inanimate objects join in the song. Stewie and Brian are intoxicated of this universe until they find out that its a very anti-semitic one, sending up Walt Disney's rumoured anti-Semitic leanings. A little too over the top for me, but fun to start with.

The eighth universe finds them in a Robot Chicken version of the Family Guy where the crudely stop motion animated versions of Peter and Chris are watching tv sitting on the couch. Stewie and Brian have an argument with them and Stewie yells "How does it feel to be on a major network for 30 seconds?" Chris Griffin swears at them before they leave. The in joke here being that Seth Green who does the voice of Chris Griffin is also an executive producer and voice actor for Robot Chicken series.

The 9th universe is a bombed out post-apocalyptic world where they discover Sinatra was never born, therefore Kennedy was never elected President, Nixon was elected and botched the Cuban Missile Crisis causing world War III. The scene while brief provides one of the more funny and tasteless jokes involving Lee Harvey Oswald and Mayor McCheese.

The next is a bizarrely animated 'low resolution blocky universe' that looks like a cross between bad Korean anime and retro Game Boy graphics. The Griffins of this universe have a brief nonsensical argument that leaves Stewie 'frightened'.

The next two universes are the quickest and best sight gags of the entire show. In the 11th jump, they land in a world with fire hydrants from horizon to horizon. Brian simply says "Love It", Stewie says "Hate It" and they teleport out. The 12th universe is awash in a sea of nearly nude men wearing speedos, holding balloons, with a prominent rainbow in the background. Stewie this time gets to say "Love It" and Brian says "Hate It" before they jet.

The 13th find the duo in a universe where Brian is a real dog and Stewie a real baby. It doesn't take them long to leave this universe behind.

The 14th universe is "where everything is depicted as a Washington Post Political Cartoon." Brian pretends to get the political satire, while Stewie calls him on it.

The 15th universe has a sole inhabitant who is "a really far away guy who yells compliments". Its absurd and funny.

The 16th is the universe of "misleading portraitures" in which really far away guy makes a brief appearance.

The 17th and final universe they land in is a "Planet of the Apes" take off where Dogs rule the earth and have pet humans. In this universe the Griffins are a family of dogs and Brian is their pet human. Brian 'accidentally' smashes the hand held device. Stewie frustrated with the role reverse seeks his revenge on Brian by "doing his business" in the park. In this universe Stewie the dog confides in Stewie the human that he too has perfected multiverse travel and can help him get back to his own world. Dog-Stewie points out that Human-Stewie must have had the "shuffle" feature on his timer turned on hence the random jumping around between universes. When Stewie and Brian escape to their own universe Human-Brian makes the leap with them as well, only to come to a tragic end.

For me I appreciated the sight gags and the action that happens off screen, but is described in several of the universes. The plot device of the hand held timer was great since allowed Stewie to give the audience a thumbnail sketch of each universe just like Al was always giving Sam in each Quantum Leap episode without wasting time.

Definitely worth a look. If you are in the United States you can probably find this on a streaming site such as, outside of the US you might have to hunt a little harder for a copy of it, if you were like me and missed when it first aired.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Don't forget ABC's FlashForward debuts on Thursday September 24th, 2009.

Based on the award-winning 1999 novel by Canadian author Robert J. Sawyer, the series features a stellar cast including Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Jack Davenport, Courtney B. Vance, Zachry Knighton, Peyton List, as well as a couple of LOST alumni Dominic Monaghan and Sonya Walger. The premise involves a global event that causes everyone's consciousness to "flashforward" 6 months into the future. The event lasts for 2 minutes and 17 seconds during which time everyone on the planet blacks out. The character are forced to deal with the ensuing chaos from the black out and trying to reconcile what they saw in their own future.

And you have no excuse for missing this. For starters, ABC is repeating the first episode this Friday night. And secondly it has been sold to 44 markets:

* Australia: Seven
* Canada: /A\
* Cyprus: Fox International
* Finland: Nelonen
* France: TF1
* Greece: Fox International
* Hong Kong: TVB
* Iceland: RUV
* India: Zee Cafe
* Ireland: RTE
* Korea: OCN
* Malaysia: Media Prima
* Netherlands: SBS
* New Zealand: TVNZ
* Norway: TV2
* Philipines: ABS-CBN
* Portugal: AXN
* Singapore: MediaCorp and Signtel
* Southeast Asia: Fox International
* Spain: AXN
* Spain: Cuatro
* Turkey: Digiturk
* UK: Five

Watch it and then check out where people can relate their flashforward stories and piece together a mosaic of what the future looks like.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Wyld Stallyns Rule!

Wyld Stayllns - Bill and Ted

For a few years between 1989 and about 1992, you couldn't go anywhere without running into two of the most unlikely time travelers since Marty McFly hit 88 mph in a borrowed time machine.

Released in 1989 "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" - introduced the world to Ted "Theodore" Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esquire. Legends in their own mind this high school duo dreamed of the days when their band Wyld Stallyns would be bigger than Van Halen - only problem was they needed to learn to play the guitar first. On the verge of flunking history, the duo with the aid of their most excellent guide Rufus (George Carlin) and his time machine travel through time kidnapping the likes of Joan of Arc, Genghis Khan, So-crates, Bill the Kid, and Abraham Lincoln.
Little did they know that the fate of the universe depended on them passing their high school history class and becoming a most excellent band.

The movie was so successful, that it spawned a sequel in 1991 - "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" less of a history lesson than the first, the second film featured killer robots from the future, a la Terminator, sent back in time to kill Bill and Ted and prevent them from winning the battle of the bands and become mega stars. Bill and Ted are dispatched to the afterlife where they have to match wits with the grim reaper DEATH and win their freedom.

This movies spawned both a Saturday morning cartoon series and limited run comic book, Bill and Ted's Excellent Comic Book that began with a film adaptation of Bogus Journey and then proceeded to a 12 part series. I recently came across a copy of issue #10 in my local comic store's delete bin and picked it up for 25 cents.

There were video games, action figures and even a breakfast cereal that was apparently a mix of cinammon oats with marshmallow musical notes. If you don't believe me head on over to Linda Kay's most excellent site where all things non-heinous about the dynamic duo can be found.

I think I'll spend the rest of Labour Day with a Bill and Ted marathon myself.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

I first read Audery Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife when it came out in 2003 and while I enjoyed it immensely, but I almost never got past the first two chapters.

I can see why she had troubles finding a publisher for this first novel. Stories told in the first person can be hard to sell, but a story with TWO alternating first person view points AND jumps in time is enough to make most publisher's heads explode never mind the general reading public. Luckily the author's decision to preface each chapter with a little 'title card' giving the date, the relative ages of Henry and Claire, as well as indicating who was narrating the chapter helped guide the reader through the novel. And what a fine journey it is. Emotionally moving and rich in secondary characters, it's a real page turner from what I recall.

Here is a link to my review of the book The Time Traveler's Wife.

The book was optioned as a film virtually the moment Niffenegger signed her book deal, but it wasn't until 2007 that a script and casting started to firm up for the movie. Eric Bana was cast in the role of Henry and Rachel McAdams in the role of Claire. The majority of the film was shot in the fall of 2007 in and around Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario. An initial release date of February 2008 was announced, but was quietly and quickly withdrawn. At the time I suspected the studio had lost faith in the movie and was quietly pulling for a DVD release or dumping in a few markets . In the end it was rescheduled for August 14th, 2009 release date. The explanation for the delay that has been circulating was that reshoots were needed and could not be rescheduled until the locations were available (the outdoor meadow) and Eric Bana's hair grew back after his role in Star Trek.

I haven't had a chance to see the movie since it came out this week, but hope to see it in the next week or so. Based on reviews and the dismal 36% freshness rating over at, I am afraid it won't match the magical nature of the book.

The Official Time Traveler's Wife Site

Have you seen the movie? What did you think?

Have you read the book as well?

I appreciate your thoughts, but please not too many "spoilers" for those that haven't read the book or watched the movie.

Monday, August 3, 2009

404 Error - Page Not Found

You think after owning a website for 10 years I would have created a decent 404 Error Page. I like to think I am creative and clever. Problem is there are never enough hours in the day to do all the projects I would like.

It's hard enough finding time to write reviews and work on my own writing, never mind designing the backyard time machine, dreaming about creating a time travel web comic, creating an online time machine, and little distractions like designing my own clever 404 Error page.

If I was going to design my own 404 Error page obviously it would have something to do with time travel. A broken time machine perhaps? Not sure what else.

Any suggestions?

In the meantime here are some clever ones Smashing Magazine - 404 Error Pages to browse.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Time Travel in Commercials

Time travel references always show up in the strangest places including television ads.

One of my favourites from back in the day was a Pepsi commercial that featured some intrepid inventors preparing to test their time machine and send an individual back to 1885. The time traveller accidentally takes a Pepsi he is drinking with him into he time machine. When they realize he error the one scientist exclaims to the other "This is catastrophic - it could change history!" The other scientist tries to reassure him "Relax Smith, you don't think one can of Pepsi can alter 100 years of history do you?" As the pair leave the lab, a Coke machine with the banner - 100th Anniversary disappears as does a transport truck emblazoned with Coke disappears as well a factory for Coke.

So, what are you trying to say with this commercial? That your product, Pepsi isn't good enough to beat the competition, so you need to go back in time and eliminate Coke? I am surprised they went with the "Back to the Future" ripoff and not a "Terminator" spoof. Despite being primarily a Coke drinker most of my life, I still love this commercial.

Watch for a young Bruno Kirby as one of the scientists that send the kid back to 1885.

Our second time travel commercial for today is more recent one for Bacardi Mojitos. The premise is simple but well executed both from a visual time travel experience and from a marketing one as well. A guy at a night club finishes his very tasty Mojito and decides to head to he bar to get another. As he crosses the club he passes through a variety of decades, 1960s, 1950s, 1920s, and finally the 1860s. The guy retrieves his drink and the voice over says - "Since 1862 the best mojitos have always been made the same way. Bacardi. The Original Mojito"

It reminds me a bit of Will Smith's 1999 video Will2K, but better.

Do you know of any other commercials that use time travel?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Julian Comstock - Robert Charles Wilson

One of my other favourite Canadian authors, Robert Charles Wilson released his 14th novel this week. The retro-futuristic Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd Century America tells the story of Julian Comstock heir to the presidency of a very depopulated and technological hamstrung society that looks more like 19th century America than the 22nd. Ruled in part by a religious group called the Dominon, the novel focuses on a four year window in Julian's life as told by his companion Adam Hazard. I haven't read any of the book myself, just glowing reviews of it.

Personally I can't get enough of Wilson's fiction. I first discovered his work with Darwinia which was published in 1998. His work is very accessible, full of characters that are as real as your co-worker and next door neighbour, and still delivers on the big ideas in a way that is intergral to the story-telling and not just a big Wow factor that you often find in less adept SF.

I just finished reading a great interview with Rob over at (see link) in which he talks about the novel and his style. My favourite part of the interview of course is where he talks about time and time travel. Here's an excerpt from the interview.

io9: Many of your books have dealt with time travel or time warping ortemporal mash-ups in some way. I think the temporal juxtaposition of past and future in Julian Comstock could make it a time travel novel too. What appeals to you about messing around with time?

RCW: I like to say that science fiction de-privileges the present. Past, present, future — those aren't fixed categories; they're points of view. It was the French composer Nadia Boulanger who said, "In art there are no generations, only individuals; all times have been modern." Not just in art, I would add. The quaintness of the past and the marvelousness of the future are entirely in the eye of the beholder. Messing around with time in fiction is one way we remind ourselves of that truth. Science fiction does it more consciously and consistently than any other genre, and that's one of the things I love about it.

Julian Comstock is available June 23rd 2009 for sale at most book stores.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rob Sawyer in Sudbury

One of my favourite SF authors, Robert J. Sawyer is coming to Sudbury on Monday the 25th to host a reading and signing of his latest book Wake. I'll be there, book in hand.

Rob has made numerous contributions to the Time Travel/Alternate History genre in his long and short fiction over the years. I have reviewed End of an Era and Hominids on my site a few years ago. One of his other fantastic novels that deals with time (travel) is Flashforward (or Flash Forward as it has now been republished as).

If you've been living under a rock, you may not know that ABC has developed Flash Forward as a series (13 Episodes) for the fall 2009 line up and has been running teaser ads for during the final few episodes of LOST.

You can catch one of the teasers here on YouTube FlashForward Teaser. It's being hailed by many as LOST's replacement and I think rightly so.

Monday, April 27, 2009

First Mouse Through Time

Mickey à travers les siècles

While googling "Titans" of Greek mythology the other day I came across an odd time travel reference a French comic/series called - Mickey à travers les siècles (aka Mickey Through the Centuries). The stories featured Mickey Mouse as a time traveller. From what little I can gather the series ran from 1952 to 1970 as part of a larger Mickey Mouse comic. In 1970 it appears to have gotten its own comic which continued until 1978.

Here's one link to a list of the various series and the historical characters that appear in each one. It also lists whether or not the series was historically faithful for a particular time period.

No word on whether he owned a time machine or just simply showed up in each of these time periods unexplained.

Anyone ever read/own one of these issues?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Asimov's - The End of Eternity

One of the reasons I started Andy's Anachronisms was to discover new sources of time travel material to enjoy. When I say "new" I mean new to me, not necessarily new to the world.

Thanks to the website for the heads up that Asmiov's 1955 novel The End of Eternity is being made into a movie. Currently attached to direct is Kevin MacDonald (Last King of Scotland, State of Play, Touching the Void).

The novel focuses on a group of time travellers working for an organization called Eternity. They travel the time stream modifying events and change reality to minimize the impact on humans. The reasons for their existence and whether or not they are doing more harm than good become the focus of the novel from what I understand.

I'll definitely keep an eye out for a copy of the original novel, and look forward to how it might translate to the big screen.

Here's a link to Wikipedia article on the novel -

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Horror and time travel sound like an unlikely pairing that shouldn't be able to co-exist, but they manage to do just that in Nacho Vigalondo's 2006 debut Los cronocrímenes aka Timecrimes. Featured at a number of festivals in 2007 and after receiving a small theatrical release in December 2008, the film was released on DVD this past week. I rented it this weekend and just finished watching a little more than an hour ago.

It's an interesting take on Heinlein's By His Bootstraps and without giving away too much the film folds a couple of timelines back on itself. The logic of the timeline gets a bit muddled for me near the end, but what I really enjoyed was the transition of the main character Hector over the course of the film.

Hector and his wife are living at a house in the country where Hector seems to be recovering from something stress-related. He comes off as timid and frazzled by everything around him. When Hector witnesses a young woman disrobing in the woods through his binoculars he goes to investigate. Hector finds the unconscious girl, only to be stabbed by an unknown assailant whose face is obscured by a pink bandage. Hector flees from the man only to take refuge in a facility where a lone operator is experimenting with a time machine. Hiding in the time machine Hector is sent back in time an hour and change setting in motion a vicious cycle.

The tagline on the DVD is "The Future is Never the Same Twice" an appropriate sentimen given the twists the film takes. I'll be giving it some more thought over the next few days before I attempt to write up a more thorough review. It's interesting to note that this movie has been picked up by Hollywood for a remake, should be interesting to see where they go with it.

For now I'll recommend the movie more for the time travel aficionado out there or someone looking for something different. If movies like Primer and Donnie Darko make your head hurt, then this movie is probably not for you.

*Note: The movie is in Spanish, but the disc I rented defaulted to the English Dub. I had to stop the movie and change the setup to get the original Spanish dialogue and English Subtitles. You may prefer the dubbing, but I much rather read subtitles and listen to the original performances rather than some sub par voice actors reading the dialogue.

It's Deja Vu all over again...

I have a bad habit of getting excited about the release of a new time travel movie then never getting around to watching or reviewing it.

Back in 2006 I was excited when I first saw the trailers for Deja Vu featuring Denzel Washington as an Federal ATF agent investigating a domestic terrorist accident with the aid of some very high tech time travel related gear. Fast forward to March 2007 when the movie was released to DVD, I bought the day it came out.

You think I would have watched that weekend. Nope. One thing lead to another and it sat on my shelf until tonight. It wasn't for the lack of trying. I must have lugged that DVD on every trip I have been on in the last two years thinking I would get a chance to watch it on vacation.

Anyhow enough about my natural tendency to procrastinate. Or was I delayed in watching it because I wasn't destined to watch until tonight. Hmmmm.

As with any time travel movie, Deja Vu has a tendency to leave you scratching your head at times. I followed a long well enough, or so I think. It's definitely no Donnie Darko or Primer when it comes to "Huh?" moments, but its still out there on the edge.

I've got a soft spot for time travel stories that rely on remote viewing of sorts to travel to the past. I think its a much more believable method of time travel than sending object or people to the past. Having said that the movie does shift tone a bit in the final act of the story and I think that's where most people had problems with it when it first came out.

I'll be reviewing this in more detail on the site in the near future. Would love to hear other people's thoughts on the movie.

I also have a copy of Timecrimes on my desk that was just released this past week that I need to watch before tomorrow night as well.

Too many time travel movies, never enough time.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jack Finney - Time and Again a good read.

Jack Finney (1911-1995) is one of those rare writers that succeed at every genre they attempt. Finney got his start in the late 1940s and early1950s writing mystery and crime stories for such magazines as Ellery Queen and Collier's. His first novel “Five against the House” (1954) was made into a movie in 1955 starring Guy Madison, Brian Keith and Kim Novak.

He also wrote in science fiction during this period successfully publishing a number of time travel short stories such as The Third Level (1950), Such Interesting Neighbors (1951) and I’m Scared (1951). For his second novel Finney produced a thriller with a science fiction edge that you may have heard of - “The Body Snatchers”. The novella was serialized in Collier’s magazine in 1954 before being released as a novel in 1955. It would go on to be adapted as a film in 1956 as “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and would eventually be remade three more times - in 1978 as “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, in 1993 as “Body Snatchers”, and most recently in 2007 as “The Invasion”.

Finney’s most recognized work and one of my favourites is the classic time travel novel “Time and Again” (1970). In it a young advertising executive, Si Morley, who travels back in time to 1882 and visits New York City as part of a government experiment. What makes the novel so remarkable is Finney’s ability make the time period come alive for the reader. Well researched and even more seamlessly told, Finney manages to incorporate historical settings, events and characters into tapestry that becomes 1882. Originally billed as an illustrated novel, the book and subsequent paperback came complete with photographs and sketches of the some of the key scenes and locations in the novel. Whereas most time travel stories use either ‘scientific’ time machines, or some form of mystical/magical phenomenon to transport their protagonists in time, Finney takes a different perspective using hypnosis. He suggests that time is but an illusion that keeps the subject in the present and by immersing Si in the elements of 1880s manages to break down the barriers. It sounds hokey at first, but in the Finney’s hands it is convincing. You almost want to believe Finney was the one that visited past and is simply retelling his own experiences..

Finney followed up the novel twenty-five years later with a sequel “From Time to Time” which was published shortly after Finney’s death in 1995. The sequel again features Si Morely who becomes involved in a plot to prevent World War I and is largely set in 1911.

A collection of Finney’s short fiction, most of which involves time travel, has been published as “About Time” in 1986. While some of the stories are dated, Finney’s descriptive prose and concise story telling make them well worth reading.

If you haven't read any of his work before Jack Finney is definitely an author to check out.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Do You Believe in Time Travel?

I often get asked whether or not I believe in Time Travel. You think that would be an easy answer for me given the fact that my hobby, as it were, is time travel. Problem is the question is a bit of a loaded one.

Some people that pose the question are trying to judge what I like to call my “sanity factor”. What they are really asking is “Can I have an intelligent conversation with you or are you going to try and convince me that you are from the future and have a time machine in your basement?” For the record, I am not some conspiracy theorist nor do I think that time travelers walk among us. Besides, I flunked my time pilot license so it’s all just tachyons under an Einstein-Rosen Bridge. As a writer and lover of a well told story, I generally respond by saying “Regardless whether it’s scientifically possible or not, I think Time Travel* is a great story telling device.”

Seriously, time travel stories, whether it be in movies, on TV, in print, or on your computer screen, allow us to juxtapose different time periods, explore “what if?” scenarios, and to examine the vary nature of time. Yes it can also give you a Grade ‘A’ headache if you think too much about the paradoxes and improbabilities, but that side-effect can be lessened by a skillful storyteller.

At Andy’s Anachronisms I’ve tried to highlight some of those superb storytellers that manage to weave a good tale, entertain, and hopefully give you something to think about when its all said and done. Also part of my job has been to put up caution signs around the less than stellar examples of time travel that give the sub-genre a bad name.

I’ve been compiling some of my own top ten lists that I plan to post on Andy’s Anachronisms in the coming months. First up will be my “Top Ten Time Travel Movies”. I know it’s bound to be controversial for a number of reasons. For starters I have not seen every time travel film out there – yet. I know I am bound to overlook some gem. Secondly, taste is very subjective. Not everyone is going to agree with what I like, so be it. My advice to anyone who disagrees, get their own blog and post your own Top Ten list or go out and make a time travel movie make my top ten list.

In the meantime, I am planning on highlighting some of my favourite time travel authors starting with Jack Finney who will be the focus of my next entry.

*When I use the phrase “Time Travel” to describe the sub-genre I am also including its cousins Alternate History and Alternate Universe stories.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Andy's Anachronisms Celebrates 10 Years!

It's hard to believe it was 10 years ago this February that I started Andy's Anachronisms. On one hand 1999 seems like just yesterday while on the other it seems like a lifetime ago. I think that's why I find the subject of time so fascinating and time travel in particular. Our ability to perceive time and ask the "What if?" questions.

You can even travel back in time and see an early version of my site via the power of the The Wayback Machine. How appropriate!

In ten years time I have posted over 50 movie reviews, nearly 30 book reviews, two dozen plus television reviews, almost 60 short story reviews, and another couple of dozen reviews about toys, songs, and time travel related news. I've had a few outstanding guest contributors over the years, but it largely remains a one man show. The down side of that is there are never enough hours in the day to spend the time I want reading books, watching movies, and writing reviews. In 2009 I plan to make more of an effort to add new material on a regular basis. One of the new additions to the site is this blog.

My intention is to post up and coming time travel and alternate history items as well as highlighting new and existing reviews on the site.

Whether this is your first visit to Andy's Anachronisms or your 100th I welcome you to the wealth of reviews here and hope you'll keep coming back.