Do you love reading Sci-Fi? How many times did you found the Sci-Fi has proper dosage of “Science” part and yet the “Fiction” is interesting? Well, that is the challenge for the author, to balance Science and Fiction part.
Recently we came to know about a book named Time Crawlers (Stories from Parallel Universes) by author Varun Sayal. The author has introduced us to the book and we found the copy of the book available on Amazon (Kindle Edition) for free as a part of book promotion, and we bought it from there. And reading the same was a delightful experience for me and I am happy that I got an opportunity to read the same from our team. Here are my genuine and unbiased views and reviews for this book.
|Book Title||:||Time Crawlers/span>
Tag line: Stories from Parallel Universes
|Publishers||:||Vishwakarma Publications; Published: (October 12, 2017)|
|# of Pages||:||
2180 KB 100 (Kindle EBook)
|# of Chapters||:||6|
Let us take a look at the book cover.
“Never judge a book from its cover”, how many times we’ve heard/read this advice? Of course, it has the substance, but psychologically we tend to get attracted to a book with interesting and attractive cover, right? 🙂
This book is a collection SciFi stories, so making a cover page for this book which is attractive yet reflect the book content, is a challenge for the designers. And we found the challenge is fulfilled nicely. The cover page with black background showing planets along with a timepiece reflects the “time-crawlers” effectively. The use of gold, red and black color makes the cover page quite attractive.
There are 6 stories compiled in the book and they all are different than each others like chalk and cheese. Of course, the Sci-Fi features are there as the common link.
Let us take a bird’s eye view of each of them.
Nark-astra, The Hell Weapon:
Prayaschakit is the heir of a genuine king. His father is no more due to an evil soul who is on the throne now. The lust for the power can make people do very wrong things. And wrong things should not be entertained. The wrong doers should be punished. But, how? Prayaschakit went to Trikalacharya to learn the war skills, earn yogic powers and more importantly get hold of powerful chemical and nuclear weapons. And, based on his genuinely, hard work and dedication, he earned the love, respect and the knowledge from the Guru.
He is back now, and his first act is to attack the evil king. The king, in his arrogance of power decided to send a huge army to fight Prayaschakit. And Prayaschakit aimed a very powerful, target oriented weapon against the entire army!
What will be the consequences? Will Balraj, the genuine advisor of the evil king be able to show king the right path?
Death by Crowd:
With the technological advancements are we being better human beings? Or, the beast within us gets even more hungry? Why the crime-rate is rising? Aren’t we supposed to be a crime-free society with the knowledge an wisdom earned through the millenia guiding us? But, as we had seen in many Hollywood movies, people like games where real people’s real lives are in danger, and they are fighting with each other to kill them? And, the game runner livestreams the actions to the paid subscribers! Well, it was just the film, but don’t a large number of us love watching WWE and other such things? Aren’t there a large number of viewers who like to watch sexual violence and such videos? Aren’t the human beings these days more frustrated with the rise of materialistic approach towards the life?
In a possible future, there is a game run by “someone”! In the game one needs to burn him/herself alive, and the paid subscriber see it live and enjoy(!?) it! A reporter got a chance to have an author interview with this “someone”. Obviously via dark channels and encrypted chatrooms. What their conversation will reveal?
Do you remember the story of Alladin and magic lamp? we know that, Alladin got a magic lamp and he was able call the wish fulfilling genie when he need.
But, in the modern times you cannot expect the robotic genies to fulfil your wish, can you? Well, the genies now has their own “terms of services” and they cannot remain bound to you (or your device) for eternity. There is a specific time-period and there are a number of wishes you can ask him/her to fulfil! And, that is not it. You cannot ask the genie to fulfil the wishes which are in the “banned wishes” list!!!
How will be the life of a person when he/she meets with such a genie?
Time is the most talked about concept which, despite of many theories, follows in a linear and forward direction for all (well, majority) of us! Are geniuses considered mad when they come up with the theories which are hard to digest? Are they mere theories or is there any substance in them? Is it really possible to time-travel?
If the universe is created at the time of big bang, which is ideally the most accepted theory of our existence, then what was there before that time, I mean even before the time is created?!!!
Is it possible that the Doppelgängers are really there? Or, is it possible that a person can live in different times with different identities?
We know the technical definition of an Eclipse and we also know the scientific reasons for why and how it happen! Is it possible that there are aliens and they are having different effects of eclipse on them, which in turn can affect human lives on the earth?
By the way do Aliens exist? On Earth?
Once upon a time in future, armed forces of a country found that the future of the planet is in danger! Well, it is not about an alien attack from outside. A cave was found possessed by some unknown but very powerful entity. Those who try to enter the cave, met with the future unexpected.
There are some trained fellows who are guarding the star system and galaxies. The possible saviour who can give the planet a security cover as of now, is far far away. Is it possible to summon and convince her to take care of the dark entity in the cave and provide protection cover to the planet?
As the time is running out, the decision has to be taken fast. But, is there sufficient time for that “possible” saviour to come and take care of the situation before the planet meet with its fate?
All the stories in the book explore different fantasy/fiction backed with Science. The variety of the content will engage the readers. For me, the first story is the most engaging and detailed one than the others. The author, while weaved it with the mythology, kept the science part convincing too. For example the definition of the Nark-astra (aka hell weapon) is given as:
It’s a cutting-edge bio-chemical weapon developed and tested in the Himalayas by Guru Trikalacharya himself. Each arrow is a voice-activated missile that only a specific warrior can invoke by reciting a specific mantra. Each arrow is tuned to recognize the vocal-chord vibrations of that particular warrior.
The author put in remarkable efforts in elaborating and exploring characters. In fact, you will see not only personality references in the antagonist of the first story, but also found the name references taken from Duryodhana (who was also referred as Suyodhana). Also the pre-climax incident of the story will make you remember (the incident of Mahabharat) Ashwatthama releasing Brahmastra to destroy Pandava lineage, countered by Arjuna with the same; and the situation get so worst that the fate of planet Earth came under a danger. So VedVyas need to intervene. The author goes ahead focusing more on the logic and science and tells:
There is no such thing as magic. It’s all science. The part of science that you don’t understand will always look like magic to you.
The book has some wisdom spreading lines as well:
Believe me when I say nothing good ever comes of actions taken in anger.
Whatever we talk about together, I know that it will go no further. I’m able to talk heart-to-heart to him, things that I’m not free to tell anyone else, an things that I know he won’t pass on to other…
The book explores that despite living in a social environment humans are still animal by nature. Some of them are more human and some of them are more of a beast. Some of us like to see others in pain and even enjoys it. And yet somehow we manage justify ourselves by uttering something philosophical. The book also explores the fact that something considered as a wrongdoing at a place, may consider as the right thing to do at some other place.
Sin in geographical.
The book delves into give more thought provoking lines:
We are not the biological evolutionary species that we think we are. We are an advanced A.I. embedded in a simple biological wrapper.
Time crawlers have existed since the beginning of all things, since before time existed. So, finally when time was actually created, by design they stayed outside its rules.
We were all very happy, fighting over oil, global warming, and our petty international conflicts. Forever engrossed in cleaning up crime-ridden streets, creating huge charities, relishing globalization, and nurturing ever-abysmal yet color-filled consumerism….
When we enjoy the power brother, we feed on only one thing. Emotions!
Tomorrow is a luxary no-one has, brother. Tomorrow is nothing but a box of lies. Lies that we speak to our own selves. There is no such thing as tomorrow. It’s another human construct. A failed algorithm, a mirage because when you finally reach “tomorrow” it becomes “today”. Do you realize that tomorrow never comes?
Well, you have all the math in front of you. Make a call. Still want to stick to your imperialistic roots, or will you wait until you have no roots to stick to?
The book has its dose of humour/satire through some of the segments of Alladin’s story.
The concept of Time Travellers, Time Readers, Trikal-Darshi and Time-Crawlers are an interesting read. I cannot quote it here to avoid spoilers. And yes, Blackholes, Wormholes and other such concepts are there as well, but they are referred and not explored in very much detail.
The book has some interesting conversations, but if you look them they contain some errors, here is one of them:
G: Protects? That’s a joke! We’ve been attacking and conquering planets for thousands of years now. Where was she all that time? Why didn’t protect one of those worlds?
C: She maintains neutrality and doesn’t meddle in anyone’s matters, unless someone specifically asks for help. If she agrees to protect them, she keeps them under her ever-lasting protection.
And, you need to read it in the full context to understand it.
Overall, Varun, came with novelty in content and his exploration of science is really worth mentioning. If he took reference from mythology and ancient Indian scriptures to give thoughtful names to characters (eg. Kaaljeevi); he also goes ahead with his imagination give something new (Eg. naming aliens as Fordans).
If you lover reading Sci-Fi fictions, this collection of 6 short stories is worth going for. You will surely enjoy it. If you are an attentive reader then you can go for, otherwise, it may not sound interesting to you.
Around 7.5 to 8 stars out of 10.
Quick Purchase Links:
- Buy Book From Amazon India – Kindle EBook
- Buy Book From Amazon US – Kindle Ebook
- Buy Book From Amazon US – Paperback
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Wow, I have no words for this detailed amazing review and really wish to thank you for all the time and effort you have spent into it. Thanks a lot. My next book is going to be a paranormal sci-fi fantasy woven around concepts of time-travel from the distant past to an apocalyptic future. it will be put up for pre-order around Nov-Dec time frame, I am currently doing some research, story structure, and character sketches.
Most welcome Varun.
It was indeed a pleasure reading the book :).