*Thanks for stopping by! FYI, I received a free copy of this book so I could review it. I didn’t receive any further compensation. Also, fair warning, some potential spoilers are ahead.*
This last week, I’ve been reading Time Crawlers, a collection of five science fiction short stories by author Varun Sayal. Here’s an excerpt on what the book is about:
“Billions of universes run slightly parallel to our own universe; worlds full of infinite possibilities. There are many humans living in those parallel worlds, leading their lives, in a very similar way to how we are leading ours. But their respective realities differ from ours in some very peculiar ways. Inhabitants of some worlds have already been visited and are being ruled by aliens. Some traveled through time, back and forth, and some have taken their space exploration to advanced stages using their powerful spaceships. Some created ruthless artificial intelligences that are fulfilling dark, human desires. Some developed advanced weapons technologies thousands of years before we did.”
I wasn’t sure if I would like this book going in because I usually don’t read hardcore science fiction. I like my YA and my elaborate social commentaries like The Handmaid’s Tale. But hardcore time travel and aliens? Not my usual thing.
However, this set of short stories was very interesting and kept me reading. The five stories are very easy to get through and don’t take up a lot of reading time at all. That said, they have quite an impact, as they take you right into the action. One thing I’ve always liked about short stories is that you get an immediate snapshot into the important part of a story. In this case, you get a snapshot into a moment in time of a different world.
My favorite story was definitely “Death by Crowd.” This story showcases an interview between a random interviewer and a guy who makes money from a show where suicide is broadcasted live to a paying audience. The premise is both horrifying and thought-provoking because the situation the author has created is one that I could really see happening. I mean, think about it. Terrible people already pay lots of money to watch awful things go down online; why wouldn’t people pay to see somebody die online? It kind of reminded me of gladiator fights in the past, when people would pay to see arena fights. I think this was the strongest story because it painted a picture of a future that really isn’t that far away, unfortunately.
My only big criticism of this book is that some of the world-building is a little too complicated at times. While I understand using techy language as part of making the situations seem real, I sometimes felt left behind as a reader. Other than that, I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to anybody that likes sci-fi or futuristic stories.