The Accidental Time Machine
by Joe Haldeman
Ever since H.G.Wells set forth the idea of traveling through time, dozens of writers have found the challenge of playing with time irresistible. This includes followers of both hard science fiction like Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein and practitioners of the not-so hard sci-fi, poet scribes ala Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson among these. Hugo Award winner Joe Haldeman’s work is clearly of the former camp.
Matt Fuller is a research assistant at MIT who discovers the calibrator machine he is working on has somehow become a time machine that leaps into the future every time he presses the ON button. At first, it is only gone for a few seconds, but Fuller begins to calculate that with each jump, the machine expands it reach by a factor of twelve. Keeping the discovery to himself, he then manages to connect the small calibrator time machine box to an automobile. This allows him to jump into the future with the next push of the button. So begins Matt Fuller’s adventure and ours.
Thankfully Haldeman then sets the spotlight on the socio-economic goings on of future
The book is breezy, fun and yes, thought provoking. I think H.G. Wells would have enjoyed it as much as I did.