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Book: Time Split by Patricia Smith

Book Review: Time Split by Patricia Smith

categories: Book, Time Travel, Military, World War Two, World War II, Nuclear War, Hitler, Science Fiction


Patricia Smith

Author Patricia Smithabout this book: A scientist is working on teleportation when he accidentally develops a time machine through the introduction of live matter.

He vows at first he will not use the machine to go into the past, but soon relents when he decides he can use it to help his mother.

He travels back to Germany just before World War II and carries out his 'harmless' tinker, but when he returns to his own time zone he finds a world ravaged by nuclear war.


I carried out research for Time Split by travelling around Northumberland, where the book is based. This included checking out the local RAF base to see if I could see the town of Alnwick in the distance. As I sat in my car outside of the chain link fencing, the RAF police pulled up behind. Slowly I pulled away and was horrified when he followed me. I was followed for two miles before he pulled away from me.

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 A time travel novella with everything in it

Time Split is a beautifully succinct novella which captures many aspects of a brilliant time travel novel!

Perhaps the first thing to mention is that initially I found the idea of Jason wanting to go back in time to change the future of his grandmother shocking - surely once you've discovered time travel you know about the grandfather paradox! But further reading shows a slightly different angle to Jason's intentions which was a masterful piece of thinking by Patricia!

To be fair, Jason isn't a time travel expert but a scientist working with teleportation, and it was a sort of failed experiment which lead to the realisation of time travel. I appreciated it that although the precise workings of what eventually came to be the time machine were not explained, the thought process behind the testing and assumptive phase was made very clear.

The thrust of the plot lies in what Jason does once he's back in history, as well as how he deals with the consequences that he's wreaked in the present. There's a huge human element which really shines through; I think the writing style has this nailed wonderfully!

All in all, I was really impressed with Time Split, especially as Patricia didn't take the easy way out in creating a new time line!

So there it is: motivation, methodology, something to do in the new time era(s), and consequences in the present. All in 150 pages! It's not rushed, it's short and very sweet. Beautiful and succinct! :) [by Paul Wandason]

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