Why you should read this book:
Have you ever wished that you could go back in time and change the future? Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card proposes just that. While the book is fictional, the mechanics of time travel are entirely believable and take into account the many time travel paradoxes. Furthermore, the characters deal with the ethical and moral dilemmas associated with time travel in a realistic manner. Overall, this novel offers up not just a story of going back in time to change the past, but an unflinching look at the causes and effects of history.
Why you shouldn’t read this book:
- Time travel science doesn’t interest you
- You don’t like alternative history texts
- Hardcore science fiction isn’t for you
- You don’t like novels that go into detail about scientific concepts
What Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card is about:
Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card posits a future where the world’s problems have been resolved and humans live in harmony. In this future, a technology exists which allows users to look back in time and watch the past as it happens. Using this technology, users are able to witness the cause and effects of the big events in history. While watching events from the past, the watchers realize that their presence can be felt and in watching the past they are influencing it. This influence is small but it opens up the possibility that they might be able to exert greater influence over the past and thereby change the course of human history. This option remains a theoretical impossibility until they discover that the past was in fact changed. A previous group of humans went back in time and as a result the future they now inhabit was brought into existence. This discovery leads to the decision to send a team back in time to prevent Christopher Columbus from discovering America, as it is their belief that much of the world’s suffering stemmed from that moment. What follows is a narrative told in parallel, whereby we witness the present’s efforts to develop the technology to go back in time, and we follow the life of Christopher Columbus as he works to get his world-altering adventure underway.
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