At 10 PM, exactly, I finished The Accidental Time Machine. Wow! What a great book. I’m giving it 5-stars, which is a rating I rarely give, and while will make Joe Haldeman the only author to whom I’ve given 5-stars twice for fiction (The Forever War was the other 5-star book).
In a way, it’s an odd book to give 5-stars because the emotional content of the book is not what was there in a book like The Forever War (although I must admit, I felt a little misty-eyed as I read the last two pages). Instead, this book is all about sense-of-wonder, and for that alone, it deserves 5-stars. Racing through this book evoked memories of some other great books which share some similarities, but unlike those books, this The Accidental Time Machine combines them all. I was reminded of Clifford Simak’s, Way Station, for instance. And Jack Williamson’s Terraforming Earth. And Robert Heinlein’s, The Door Into Summer. But it all had a Haldeman edge to it. It was fun, it was funny at time, touching at others. It has just the right mix of science and fiction. This is what science fiction is supposed to be about and this is the kind of science fiction I would love to be able to write.
The downside of reading a 5-star book is that they are few and far between, which means that the next book is not likely to be of the same caliber. Having said that, tomorrow morning I will be cracking open Damon Knight’s classic Creating Short Fiction, so maybe there is hope after all.
Great book, Joe!