When Eve Carpenter lands with a splash in the Thames, it’s not the London or England she’s used to. No one has a telephone or knows what a computer is. England s a third world country and Princess Di is still alive. But worst of all, everyone thinks Eve’s a spy. Including Major Harker who has his own problems. His sworn enemy is looking for a promotion. The general wants him to undertake some ridiculous mission to find a computer, which Harker vaguely envisions running wild somewhere in Yorkshire. Turns out the best person to help him is Eve. She claims to be a pop star. Harker doesn’t know what a popstar is, although he suspects it’s a fancy foreign word for spy . Eve knows all about computers, and electricity. Eve is dangerous. There’s every possibility she’s mad. And Harker is falling in love with her.
When Eve first arrives in an alternative London, she thinks she is on an episode of MTV’s “Punked”. The local army militia thinks she is a spy and quickly put her under arrest. That is when she meet Harker, the officer in command.
Harker does spend most of the early part of the book saying “The what?” regardless of that, Harker is sexy enough to make you swoon.
The UnTied Kingdom is an adventure you won’t forget in a hurry. It is teaming with wit and sass but does not shy away from the horrors of a homeland invasion. I can recommend this to anyone who is looking for something a bit different, you won’t be disappointed. I am definitely putting this on my list of books to read again.
Kate Johnson recently published a fantasy novel last month. I will be reviewing it shortly because I can not wait to read this book. See for yourself:
Ishtaer is a mystery. A blind slave, beaten and broken by her sadistic mistress, with no memory of a time before her enslavement.
Kael Vapensigsson is one of the elite Chosen – a Warlord whose strength comes from the gods themselves. But despite all his power and prestige, he is plagued by a prophecy that threatens to destroy everything he loves. When Kael summons Ishtaer to his room and discovers the marks of the Chosen on her body, including the revered mark of the Warrior, both Warlord and slave seem to have met their match.
But as their lives become increasingly entangled and endangered, Ishtaer is forced to test whether the Chosen ever have the ability to choose their own fate.
How to be a time traveller:
There are many debates on how to time travel- if it is even possible. Since we live in a time where a flux capacitor doesn’t really exist, we have to make do with other methods. My favourite is the “Christopher Reeve method”. This method was used in the film “Somewhere in time”. Unlike the film- with this method you can not psychically go there – but rather in spirit.
Mediate and clear your mind. First, you need to go to your happy place. Ideally your happy place should look like the Star Trek holo-deck on the Enterprise before the program loads. For non-geeks, a plain room with no window and uniform in colour.
In the room there is a chair. It could be a recliner or a captain’s chair, as long as there is a place for a control panel. An alternative is Rod Taylor’s ultra-steampunk “Time Machine” from the film of the same name. Which ever you prefer, the controls have to be programmable to a specific dates and times.
Now you have your comfy chair all set and you are relaxed; imagine a movie screen coming down in front of you. On that screen is the scene of where you would like to visit. Concentrate on your scene. This will take a lot of practice before you get it right. Remember, even if you do get it right you will only be able to “remote view”.
“Remote Viewing” is the ability to penetrate the illusion of time and it allows you to experience time as a single simultaneous event. The consequences of a non-linear time, enables you to visit the past, present and future. If you get confused, just think of Doctor Who and the Tardis.
There are dangers to this method. Once you are in this vulnerable state, you are open to psychic attacks. These attacks can come from other time travellers when you invade their territory. When you have stopped laughing Experts claim that the most effective tool in psychic attacks is the “Mirror technique”. That is when you hold up a mirror to your attacker and it reflects the bad ju-ju back to the gorgon (or attacker). Sorry, it all went very Clash of Titans on me for a moment.
If that wasn’t bizarre enough for you, it will get weirder- I promise. It was rumoured that after Nikola Tesla’s death in 1943, they found time travel devices in his apartment. From how they describe how it works- it does sound like a device that creates a vortex like worm hole.
That discovery lead to Project Pegasus, a secret government program. It is slightly similar to the film “The Philadelphia experiment”. The difference being, rather than using Military personnel for the experiments, they used children. They claimed that children has an amazing ability to adapt to the rigours of moving back and forth in time.
Despite of all of this, the only definitive proof we have, is a few pictures of a Nicolas Cage’s Civil war look a like and letters found in a coffee shop. The letters are from a time traveller named Dave stuck in the year 2013.
You have to read the whole saga, it is quite funny and reminds me of those letters you would find in the classroom desks in High school. Usually those letters were messages or written conversations that random people answered on paper and shoved back in the desk- like a pre-internet chat room.
The internet is full of stories about time travellers. My favourite one is about Hakan Nordkvist, a man who discovered a time vortex under his sink. One day he went under his sink to fix a leak and was sucked into a time vortex. When he crawled out on the other side, he met his future self. What did he do with all this new information? He took a picture of himself with himself and posted it on Youtube.
I’m still not convinced. We live in a time when we don’t have flux capacitors yet, but we do have photo-shop and the internet. It could be these pictures are of people who travelled from the future with new technology or they could be clever hoaxes. The charm and appeal of them is that we just don’t know for sure.
Whether you believe or not is subjective. If it was possible, clearly we would be the last to know about it. The last thing governments want is time tourists clogging up the system. Other conspiracy theories include governments trying to solve over population by planning a “Terra Nova” like plot and shipping surplus citizens to a prehistoric time line.
For the time being- the likes of you and me are stuck using the Christopher Reeves method of time travel. I’m all for giving it a try. After all what is the worst that could happen? It could work, or if not, you could just fall asleep and have a really weird dream. If you are lucky enough to have it work, here are some tips:
1) Go forward first- The past is loud, smelly and dirty.
2) Don’t get killed or captured- Just remember what happened to Bruce Willis in “12 Monkeys”
3) Watch those pesky modern pennies- they will get you every time.
If I could go back in time I’d probably like the late Victorian or Edwardian era, purely for the dresses! I’ve always loved the fashions of that time, especially the ball gowns so I would have to be part of a wealthy family that lived in a big house and had fabulous parties I think. Lots of fabulous parties, so i could wear lots of fabulous dresses!
It’s difficult to think of a historical event I would like to witness. I love history and the more research I do for my novels the more things I come across that i would like to see. There are a few I can think of at minute. I’d like to see exactly why all the roman altars were destroyed and thrown into Coventina’s Well on Hadrians Wall, an event I have fictionalised in Memory of Snow. I’d also like to be around when Emily Bronte was, so i could meet her and find out what inspired her to write Wuthering Heights and what she really thought of Heathcliff and Cathy. I’d Iike to meet the Pre Raphaelite brotherhood and then I’d also like to go to Cornwall and meet Laura Knight and the Newlyn Artists. So I suppose I’d better invent a time machine to do all these things and more!
I haven’t read outlander, but I’m a big fan of Mary Stewart and Barbara Erskine who write wonderful paranormal mystery timeslip romances. A fantastic combination of genres in my opinion, rolled into one book. If the Outlander series is anything like those, I’m sure I would love it. I’ll have to put it on my wish list I think.
The memory of snow:
Three eras. Three young women. Three Guardians, separated by centuries. Aemelia: the Christian daughter of a Roman Commandant. Meggie: accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century. Liv: a twenty-first century teenager, intent on finding information for a project. When horrors from the past threaten her, Liv discovers she is a Guardian of the mystical Coventina’s Well. She must work with the spirits who linger there, and use their combined power to banish evil from the sacred spring. Set amongst the wild landscape of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, the Guardians must confront the tragic past and the potential future in order to help each other survive.
If you enjoyed the alternative London in Kate Johnson’s “The UnTied Kingdom” then perhaps you will enjoy Ben Moor’s Undone Radio program and Neverwhere:
Ben Moor’s comic sci-fi saga with Sarah Solemani and Dan Antopolski follows Edna Turner’s adventures in London’s bizarre parallel city.
In this first series, she finds a new job and visits the theatre (or should that be ‘untheatre’?) Meanwhile, genuinely faceless bureaucrats threaten to run London, as Edna’s mum arrives, and London gets stranger and stranger for Edna, Tankerton, and both the Carlos.
Under the streets of London there’s a world most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman who is about to find out more than he bargained for about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his safe and predictable life and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and yet utterly bizarre. There’s a girl named Door, an Angel called Islington, an Earl who holds Court on the carriage of a Tube train, a Beast in a labyrinth, and dangers and delights beyond imagining… And Richard, who only wants to go home, is to find a strange destiny waiting for him below the streets of his native city.
Another great alternative history/ parallel world series is Charles Stross’s The Merchant Princes Series:
Miriam Beckstein, a successful reporter for a hi-tech magazine in Boston, finds iron-clad evidence of a money-laundering scheme. But when she takes it to her editor, she’s fired on the spot and gets a death threat from the criminals she has uncovered.
Before the day is over, she’s received a locket left by the mother she never knew – the mother who was murdered when she was an infant. Within is a knot work pattern, which has a hypnotic effect on her. Before she knows it, she’s transported herself to a parallel Earth, a world where knights on horseback chase their prey with automatic weapons, and where world-skipping assassins lurk just on the other side of reality – a world where her true family runs things
Today’s quiz is “When should you travel in time?”. Please post your results, we love hearing from you.
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Today I leave you with a clip from my favourite Star Trek episodes, City on the edge of forever: