DiscoverTime Travel

Taking Time

By

Worth reading 😎

If you're a fan of the time travel genre, you won't want to miss Murphey's series opener.

Synopsis

The year is 2044. Housed in a secret complex beneath the eastern Arizona desert, a consortium of governments and corporations have undertaken a program on the scale of the Manhattan Project to bludgeon the laws of physics into submission and make time travel a reality.
Fraught with insecurities, Marshall Grissom has spent his whole life trying not to call attention to himself, so he can’t imagine he would be remotely suited for the role of time travel pioneer. He’s even less enthusiastic about this corporate time-travel adventure when he learns that nudity is a job requirement. The task would better match the talents of candidates like the smart and beautiful Sheila Schuler, or the bristle-tough and rattlesnake-mean Marta Hamilton.
As the project evolves into a clash between science and corporate greed, conflicts escalate. Those contributing the funding are mostly interested in manipulating time travel for profit, and will stop at nothing, including murder, to achieve their goals.

I've always been a sucker for time travel science fiction novels, so when I had the opportunity to try Taking Time by Mike Murphey from Reedsy Discovery I knew I had to give it a shot. The synopsis and short preview I tried before deciding to pick it up sounded incredibly promising with a good deal of potential. Now that I have completed this first installment of an upcoming trilogy, I can officially say that this is a solid read. There are elements that I particularly enjoyed such as the time traveling itself, the parallel worlds and concept of a multiverse that exists in conjunction with team's time travelling exploits. Then again, there are also elements that I could have done without as well. I knew going in due to the disclaimer on Reedsy Discovery that there was going to be some explicit content, but honestly over the chapters that honestly began to grate and wear thin. 


In regards to the elements I appreciated about this novel, I'll begin with the time travel itself since after all it's what I came to see. The how in Murphey's novel isn't quite unique but it's still pretty cool to read about. In the story, the time travelers minds are projected back into their past, or potentially, future selves. They don't particularly travel great distances in time due to certain limitations. Plus, those funding the project are greedy and are attempting to use time travel for financial gain. As I mentioned earlier, one of my favorite aspects was learning that what they're involved with may be effecting parallel worlds. What little bit we get to see of the multiverse from the perspective of our characters when a projection goes awry was a highlight of the story for me. Let's just say that the face of humanity is different there. I'll admit that I totally had the Silurians from Doctor Who in the back of my mind. 


Then, there were the elements that just didn't quite work for me. The nudity element of time travel didn't bother me at first since within the story, the time travelers need to be naked in order to travel in time safely and make it home whole. Marshall, the lead character, really focuses on the nudity and it becomes a joke that goes much too long. Seriously, I have a feeling that several pages could have been deleted without hurting the main storyline. And, of course, Marshall and the good looking women on the team end up having sexy times. I wasn't prepared for them to use to their time travel missions for so much sex. Again same as before, quite a few pages could have been deleted without harming the main storyline and I would have been perfectly fine with that. Basically, I was in it for the time travel, not so much that other stuff. 


Overall, Taking Time by Mike Murphey is an intriguing time travel novel that mostly worked for me. There were some aspects that I wasn't quite prepared for that ran on too long for my tastes, but for the most part the elements I enjoyed outweighed them. As of this point, I wouldn't have the subsequent installments of the series at the top of my to be read pile, but I'd still wouldn't mind seeing where the series goes from where it left off. Thanks again, Reedsy Discovery!

Reviewed by

I am completely addicted to reading and I particularly enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and YA. I love the fact that being a blogger (and a librarian) helps feed my addiction and allows me to interact with other book lovers on a daily basis.

Synopsis

The year is 2044. Housed in a secret complex beneath the eastern Arizona desert, a consortium of governments and corporations have undertaken a program on the scale of the Manhattan Project to bludgeon the laws of physics into submission and make time travel a reality.
Fraught with insecurities, Marshall Grissom has spent his whole life trying not to call attention to himself, so he can’t imagine he would be remotely suited for the role of time travel pioneer. He’s even less enthusiastic about this corporate time-travel adventure when he learns that nudity is a job requirement. The task would better match the talents of candidates like the smart and beautiful Sheila Schuler, or the bristle-tough and rattlesnake-mean Marta Hamilton.
As the project evolves into a clash between science and corporate greed, conflicts escalate. Those contributing the funding are mostly interested in manipulating time travel for profit, and will stop at nothing, including murder, to achieve their goals.

A HARD ROW TO HOE

October 2044 Global Research Consortium Projection Laboratory


“SO, DO YOU THINK THEY’RE telling us the truth why some of the lemmings didn’t survive?” Sheila Schuler whispered from the side of her mouth.

“The . . . what?” Marshall had to replay Sheila’s comment one time before he could muster the concentration to make sense of it. As he scanned the computers, lights and lenses while he absorbed stares of scientists, engineers and technicians, though, a single thought consumed him.

We should have practiced naked.

The one time he’d suggested it, several female scientists and computer techs scowled as if Marshall personified the lowest bundle of perverse male hormonal scum on the planet.

The smart guys who represented the conglomeration of competing interests pursuing time travel had considered the question. Would nudity create such a distraction at a critical moment that the mission might be jeopardized? Marshall recalled a couple of scientists insisting that, just as when the astronauts took man’s initial steps into space, everything should be rehearsed in precise detail. Every conceivable circumstance should be anticipated and practiced.

Within the Wormhole Project, Marshall now realized, this philosophy represented a distinctly minority position. Training is fine, conceded the folks putting up the money. As representatives of the various governments and corporations pointed out, however, unlike the swashbucklers over at the Light Speed Project, travelers here at the Wormhole Project didn’t fly anything, navigate anywhere, or even push any buttons. They only needed to stand there and live long enough to describe the experience.

As for nudity, any male who suggested some of the rehearsals should take place in the buff suffered an unspoken accusation that he just wanted to ogle a naked woman.

“The lemmings?” Marshall asked, shifting his gaze from computers and cameras to look directly at Sheila. He did his best to concentrate on her eyes, making a futile effort to ignore the spectacular and unambiguously nude body below her chin.

“It doesn’t bother you?”

“Um . . . but . . . but why would they lie?”

Sheila gave a quick shrug, which resulted in a corresponding jiggle. Marshall understood unequivocally. They should have practiced naked.

Until this moment, with the platform beneath him beginning to hum and a plasma sort of ooze crawling across giant mirrored metal globes to each side of them, Marshall counted on the historical gravity of the occasion to block the male animal’s primordial response to the female body. He might have been okay if Marta Hamilton was the only naked lady he had to try and ignore. Attractive in her own way, Marta was relegated to something like optical background noise compared to Sheila. And none of Marshall’s carefully nurtured best intentions would pass this test.

When that awkward moment arrived for the six travelers to remove their robes, the men hesitated. Sheila and Marta exchanged an eye roll, shed their garments and stepped under spotlights illuminating the projection platform. Marshall felt his first warning tingles at the sight of Sheila from behind. When she turned to face the room, though, she eclipsed all the technological wonders surrounding them. Marshall took his place beside her, aware that he was doomed.

That’s when Sheila asked about the lemmings.

The first-time travelers were two lemmings wearing sensors and miniature video cameras and recording and tracking devices built into their tiny collars. The scientist’s first choice as test subjects had been dogs. Dog lovers among the technical staff had objected, though. Which set a precedent, and the scientists were forced to seek popular approval for the choice of test subject.

The only two creatures to which staff people had no objections were lemmings, which are suicidal anyway, and African tree frogs. Because an African tree frog has nothing in common with mammalian anatomy, and because the collars kept slipping off over their little heads, the scientists went with lemmings.

When the scientists waved their wands and pushed their buttons, the lemmings went away—somewhere. The scientists waited a while, pushed the buttons again, and the lemmings returned. The fact of their decapitations, though, dampened any sense of triumph. Both lemming bodies and lemming heads were present, albeit neatly disconnected. The collars were conspicuously absent.

The second time around, someone suggested the issue, rather than fine-tuning all the calibrations and power settings, might be the collars. They put the instrumentation into lemming vests. This time a head and four legs were all that reappeared. So, the scientists said screw the popular sentiment and went with their original second choice, pigs.

The pigs worked out better only because the researchers could barbecue the leftovers.

Finally, they attempted a projection without vests or collars. Both lemmings and pigs returned in good health. The process of time travel, though, acquired a completely unanticipated complication.

“N-naked?” one female traveler candidate stammered when Naomi Hu, the project’s chief medical officer, made the announcement.

“That is correct,” Naomi said. “Our physicists now believe only living organic matter can be transported through the wormhole. We can’t send devices crashing around through time and space to record things remotely. We can’t write notes to ourselves to warn of some impending doom. We can only project a living, breathing being, showered and scrubbed free of inorganic matter. And who is completely naked.”

“In front of . . . people?” another weak query sounded from somewhere behind Marshall.

Half a dozen female candidates decided they could not abide the nudity and transferred to alternate duties. Marshall considered his options. None of the other male candidates appeared particularly concerned, though, so he felt he could not withdraw without seeming prudish or cowardly.

And in truth, Marshall felt he could ultimately deal with the danger. He couldn’t, however, abide his fear of making a mistake that might jeopardize someone else. Not to mention his other problem. 

About the author

Mike Murphey is a native of New Mexico and spent almost thirty years as an award-winning newspaper journalist in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. Taking Time is his third novel. Mike loves fiction, cats, baseball and sailing. He splits his time between Spokane, Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona. view profile

Published on July 01, 2020

Published by Acorn Publishing

90000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Time Travel

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