DiscoverTime Travel

Wasting Time . . . Physics, Lust and Greed Series Book 2

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Worth reading 😎

Wasting Time by Mike Murphey is quite creative and a must read for fans of the sci-fi genre, time travel, and the multiverse.

Synopsis

When time travelers fail test after test to significantly alter the past, most financial backers abandon the Global Research Consortium leaving veteran traveler Marta Hamilton to administer a vastly scaled-down project. She must protect the past from a greedy future, fend off political meddling, and foil a murder plot originating in a parallel universe. She presides over a conspiracy to hide the truth of her best friend’s death while coping with a confusing and discomforting romantic entanglement involving fellow traveler Marshall Grissom.
Marta, who has by professional necessity always distanced herself from emotional commitment, lapsed by allowing herself the luxury of friendship with Sheila Schuler and a night of wild sex with Marshall. Now, Sheila is probably dead, and—according to a genius physicists’ theory—Marshall soon will be. As she assumes her role as administrator of the time travel program, Marta must choose between the risks of loving someone, or the lonely safety of emotional solitude.
(No cats were harmed in the telling of this story.)

Wasting Time (Physics, Lust and Greed #2) by Mike Murphey is a good follow up to its predecessor, Taking Time. I appreciated the first installment enough that I'm glad I decided to come back for this solid sequel. As with the first installment, there were elements that didn't quite work for me, but there were also elements here that I enjoyed a little bit more. Now that I've officially completed the novel, I would say I prefer it to the first book but not quite enough to bump it up to four stars. That said it is a must read if you're a fan of the science fiction genre and time travel like I am. I know I've said it before, but I can't resist well done time travel. Luckily, Murphey does a good job of pulling it off.  


My favorite aspect of this novel is easily how the author presents the parallel universes. It's a lot of fun to see the differences between our cast's home world and the parallel worlds they find themselves coming into contact with. They get to do and see some very unexpected things on top of the standard time travel exploits that they've come to expect. I greatly appreciated that this is a much more action packed read in comparison as well. Honestly, I think I preferred the cast of characters a little more this time around. Originally, they could grate on me but I found that to be a little less so here. We get to look a little deeper this time around and that helped make up for some of the elements before. As for what I didn't care for this time around, much of it amounted to exactly the same thing as with the first novel in the series. The nudity doesn't bother me all that much, but I could have done with less of a focus on that element. There are some pretty cringey things that I could have totally done without to be honest. Basically, I'm in it for the time travel and parallel universe travel, not so much the other stuff.


Overall, Wasting Time (Physics, Lust and Greed #2) by Mike Murphey is a solid sequel that allows us to explore more with the characters in both in time and in parallel universes. It's quite creative and a must read for fans of the sci-fi genre, time travel, and the multiverse. Although, it isn't one of my favorites of the year, I still had a fun time exploring more of Murphey's world. I'm looking forward to seeing what's next in the future.

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Synopsis

When time travelers fail test after test to significantly alter the past, most financial backers abandon the Global Research Consortium leaving veteran traveler Marta Hamilton to administer a vastly scaled-down project. She must protect the past from a greedy future, fend off political meddling, and foil a murder plot originating in a parallel universe. She presides over a conspiracy to hide the truth of her best friend’s death while coping with a confusing and discomforting romantic entanglement involving fellow traveler Marshall Grissom.
Marta, who has by professional necessity always distanced herself from emotional commitment, lapsed by allowing herself the luxury of friendship with Sheila Schuler and a night of wild sex with Marshall. Now, Sheila is probably dead, and—according to a genius physicists’ theory—Marshall soon will be. As she assumes her role as administrator of the time travel program, Marta must choose between the risks of loving someone, or the lonely safety of emotional solitude.
(No cats were harmed in the telling of this story.)

Murder Most Foul


May 11, 2045

Like a sleight-of-hand artist, Sheila Schuler kept her fear tucked up her sleeve—even when she wasn’t wearing a shirt.

Men were the easiest to fool. Under the spell of her raw sensuality, she could trot her fear in front of them on a leash and they’d never have a clue. Where her closest friends were concerned, though, keeping her secret required the emotional dexterity of a Houdini.

Practically everyone involved with the travelers program would describe Sheila as supremely self-assured. Only Marshall and Marta caught the rare glimpse behind a curtain of amused confidence she used as her shield.

Truthfully, though, every time she stepped naked onto the platform of the mechanism that sent her to the past of another world, she felt terrified. Left unchecked, her mind became a looping litany of all the things that might kill her. So, she turned each projection into a performance. The hungry stares from all corners of the projection lab fed the exhibitionist aspect of her psyche, and fear retreated to its cage until she found refuge in the limbo.

This time, though, she didn’t think she could pull it off. On this night, Sheila had no expectation of survival.

A man dressed as a janitor stood between her and the projection laboratory air lock, pointing an electronic weapon that would render her helpless.

She fought.

She could have killed Leonard Rose. She realized, though, that she lacked the will to take a human life, even a life so miserable as that one. Harming him wouldn’t have changed her fate.

So, now she stood defenseless, facing the janitor, who said, “You can either cooperate, or not. I’ll ask you one time, nicely, to remove your clothing.”

The other man—the one wearing a suit—said they intended her no harm. They would park her a few years in the past of some other universe so she’d be out of the way during the growing ethical debate concerning time travel.

Sheila didn’t believe him.

Suit Guy stood off to her left, leaning forward with a look of licentious anticipation. The physics of time travel required nudity, and Sheila saw no problem with that. The janitor’s order for her to disrobe, though, lent a raw, ugly edge to this scene that made her shudder.

She turned her back to gather herself, to maintain some measure of self-control. She felt an initial inclination to surrender to her fear—make her submission as sterile and clinical as she could. Then she remembered her outrage and, once again, her mind stuffed the fear behind a veil of resolve. She was a fighter. She would not make this easy for them.

She saw the distraction her sensuality could provide as her best chance.

So, she arched her back and pulled the shirt slowly over her head, taking a moment to shake out her long blonde hair. Then she turned slowly, sweatshirt dangling from her left hand. She felt the stares of Leonard Rose and Suit Guy lock onto her bare breasts as she rotated past them to face the janitor. His smug smile became a hungry leer. She watched carefully as, when she raised her right hand to tug the drawstring of her workout pants, his eyes widened. She focused on the weapon. When it wavered, she made her move.

She lunged, flipping her sweatshirt into the janitor’s face. Instinctively, he raised both arms to ward off the attack. Two strides took her past him, grabbing at the taser as she ran. She managed to strike his arm, throwing him further off balance. But his weapon didn’t clatter to the floor.

An ancient rock and roll song that often blared over the ear buds of her personal music system rang through her head. Gimme three steps, gimme three steps, mister . . . And that’s all she and Lynyrd Skynyrd needed. One step, so far so good; two steps, maybe? And then . . .

The crippling shock of an electrical charge bloomed between her shoulder blades and radiated through her body. She managed to command her right arm to extend as she tried to break her fall.

But her fight was over.

Though fully conscious, Sheila found herself incapable of movement or speech. She felt soft vibrations as the janitor took three swaggering steps of his own to stand above her.

Her vision became a jumble of floor, ceiling lights, gray concrete walls, then floor again as he slung her over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry. At the projection platform, he lowered her carefully onto her back, wary, she assumed, of damaging the device.

Something else was happening, though. Now she could blink her eyes closed to find relief from lights burning her pupils to tiny pinpoints. Next, she managed to rotate her head ever so slightly to catch sight of Rose as he rushed to the bank of computers monitoring her lifeline.

The brief conversation left no doubt concerning her fate.

“That won’t be necessary, Dr. Rose,” Suit Guy said.

“Without the monitors, there’s no way to track her,” Rose protested. “We can’t bring her back.”

“Oh, I doubt she’ll be coming back.”

“That’s not what you told her.”

“Yes, well, I didn’t want to frighten the young lady,” Suit Guy said.

“You can’t do that,” Rose said. “You can’t send her back so far. She won’t survive.”

“Who knows,” the janitor said. “That’s only a theory, isn’t it, Dr. Rose? You haven’t tried it? Sent someone to a time prior to their birth? Don’t theories need to be tested? That’s science, right? Let’s see . . . sometime around the 1960s? A prime era for a rebellious crusader if ever there was one.”

Sheila commanded her body to sit up but managed only to roll sideways.

Not enough strength. Not enough . . . time.

Sheila had probably thought more about dying than most people in their late twenties, because, of course, she pursued the hazardous vocation of time travel.

Time.

Funny, she thought. So much of life is spent waiting for the mundane moments to creep past while anticipating some instant perceived to have greater value than the others. Six more months until Christmas. Three more months and school will be out. Six weeks to spring break. As if the intervals between were all nuisance, something to be tolerated or endured. As if life is a highlight reel instead of the methodical gift of savoring each moment.

Sheila remembered visiting her grandmother, whose name was Amanda, at the start of her senior year and confessing her impatience. “I wish high school would be done so I can get on with my life.” Her grandmother had taken her hand, squeezed, then answered with a melancholy smile, “Oh, my sweet girl, it’s wonderful to make plans. Be sure to find a way to enjoy where you are, though. Please don’t wish your life away.”

And now Sheila realized how right Gramma Mandy had been. As her life reached its culmination, everything coalesced to fast forward, like water swirling down a drain, spinning ever more furiously, until finally, she savored each individual second remaining in her sentient being. Now ten, now five, now two. Then the last precious instant ticked past . . .

She entered the timeless white void of the limbo, suspended for an eternity before she would be spat out at a point so long ago that she had no hope of survival.

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 October 11, 2020

Published by Acorn Publishing

80000 words

Genre: Time Travel

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