Today, in the year 2016, humanity lives in a techno-utopian paradise of abundance, purpose, and wonder. In a deep depression, Penelope kills herself. Then Tom falls in love. Tom is my least favorite type of character—a narcissistic, self-described loser who all these women keep sleeping with. Bottom line: I loved the writing and found it engaging and well observed once getting past the somewhat clunky exposition.
And that's when you realize you're lying in bed, ready to start the day, with none of that sticky subconscious gristle caught in the cramped folds of your mind. I really loved it by the end. Final review, first posted on : Tom Barren lives in a near-utopian version of our world in 2016, the world that Disney and science fiction optimistically imagined in the 1950s that we would one day have, complete with flying cars, ray guns, space vacations, and other Amazing Stories and Jetson-like technology. It was imaginative, fun, witty, with interesting characters and awesome dialogue. It's an extremely enjoyable way to get yourself thinking about our world and the ways it could be very different. I just want one robot-maid, flying car, and insta-meal machine before I die.
Of course, all the technology in the world can't sort out the messiness of human emotions! The concepts he uses originate in the 1950s, and there are just a few little things that happened between then and 2016… - The U. Our very own lives are actually the dystopia? Tom does, in fact, try to locate the one man who might be able to help him—Lionel Goettreider, the genius who invented the bottomless energy engine in 1965—but what he finds will surprise you, and what happens next will surprise you even more. Once Tom wakes up in our 2016, he has two sets of memories: of the future that never was, but also of John Barren, his alt-timeline analogue, an architect with the same parents—an incredible coincidence, since billions of people were never born due to the change in the timeline. And Tom Barren certainly does. The only problem apart from his clothes disappearing is that the further back he goes the less time he gets to stay there. It's meandering, meaning , you know when someone is telling you a story and then goes off into five different stories on the way until you almost forget what the original subject was? Overall, a great read I'd recommend, most certainly for fans of literary sci-fi or general fiction readers who don't mind sci-fi, knowing that it uses time travel as a framing device for contemporary fiction. The last 20% of the book makes almost no sense at all or even less sense than the rest of the book and I almost deducted a star from my rating to reflect how much I disliked the conclusion of this book.
For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland. Well… mostly faux-deep hipster garbage from the point of view of a grating, obnoxious character. Water and food are both key, limited resources and sources of conflict. Several years later, when Nigel is visited by two people from his future, he hopes they can explain why the past keeps rewriting itself around him. Anyway, the penultimate meaning of this book seems to be that our current reality isn't that great, but at least it isn't apocalyptically worse. It has no consciousness, but it looks exactly like you and can be used for rudimentary physiological functions.
Not much happened throughout the general story line and the world building was nonexistent. Then Tom falls in love. It's 2016, and in Tom Barren's world, technology has solved all of humanity's problems —there's no war, no poverty, no under-ripe avocadoes. . When Penelope, the scientist trained for the trip, commits suicide, Tom her understudy and lover decides to attempt the experiment on his own--with reality-changing results.
We told ourselves the world is here for us to control, so the better our technology, the better our control, the better our world will be. I like how the plot progressed and the impact it has on the characters. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. The publication date is February 7, 2017. Everything ends on a happy note with Tom and Penny having a baby. They wrestle with Tom's confusion and alienation in real, funny, and emotional ways. See all of my reviews at.
But actually the real world, the world we live in, this is the dystopia. You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Each different reality forms a different version of Tom, and they all end up sharing a body, which they are trying to control to get their desired outcome. So for me, All Our Wrong Todays was exactly the right read at the right time for my raw, sad, flailing self seeing the ending of one world and the dawning of an unknown future that simply feels wrong. You might ask why it took me almost a month to finish this novel, and I can assure you that it had nothing to do with the novel itself and how much I enjoyed it. Go back to his perfect but loveless life.
The main character and his love life didn't excite me, but I loved the technology, the exploration of different realities, and the questions it raised. I had a few issues with it that I'll explain in my Wrap Up at the end of the month since I'm having a hard time explaining them here! I'm so glad I did. No more technological advances because the famous engine didn't exist. What he got was time travel. A timeless, if mind-bending, story about the journeys we take, populated by friends, family, lovers, and others, that show us who we might be, could be—and maybe never should be—that eventually leads us to who we are.