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OVERLAP by N Jospeh Glass


The Lives of a Former Time Jumper

by N Jospeh Glass

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2023
ISBN: 9798868929564
Publisher: Self

In Glass’ SF novel, a troubled “time jumper” learns that his actions have unforeseen consequences.

After his beloved, Ellie Hollister, is shot and killed during a mugging, Marcus Hollister dedicates his life to finding a way to rewrite history. About two decades later, he creates a time chamber capable of revisiting pivotal moments in the past. Marcus soon learns that altering events in the chamber has no effect on the actual timestream, which leaves him grieving Ellie’s apparently irreversible loss. Nevertheless, the invention’s public release brings him fame and fortune, as well as a heavy conscience when he discovers that others are using the technology in horrifying ways that do have real-world consequences. Marcus spends years perfecting his “overlaps,” extending his stays and living temporary lives with Ellie in the chamber. After living as a recluse for 22 years, Marcus entrusts his account to a young, unknown reporter, Jessica Mathews, who has a story of her own that will change Marcus’ life forever. The novel’s premise has elements that are reminiscent of the TV shows Westworld and Upload, and the film Total Recall. While the mechanics of time jumping may raise a few questions, such as how a character finds clothes after appearing nude in the middle of a public park, the heart of the story lies in its exploration of love, loss, and the complexities of human emotion. The novel starts off a bit overdramatically, with much ado about Ellie’s blood loss (“The thick liquid dripped crimson with flashes as embers of a dwindling fire glinting in the misty rainfall under the dim streetlight”), but the tone quickly evens out as Marcus’ interview begins. Ultimately, the narrative delivers an engaging and poignant read.

A compelling tale that ably blends speculative elements with a heartfelt exploration of grief.