How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe - Charles Yu

A little Thursday Next meets existentialist nerdgasming and goes time travelling. 


I really enjoyed Yu's book of Short Stories "Sorry Please Thank You", and I love Thursday Next, so I loved the idea of this book, where a youngish man who happens to work as a time travel repairman in a sci-fi universe, accompanied by a non-existent but ontologically valid retconned dog, and his time capsule's AI. 


So I'm not sure what went wrong for me, but I just didn't enjoy it that much. It's not bad, not at all. It's well written, and a lot of it is very well written. The chapters where our protagonist, caught in a time loop, snoops on himself as a teenager, and his father from a decade ago, as his father struggles to invent the time machine in the first place, are very good for instance. But the philosophical detours just get a bit dense, too frequent and too long, for me at least, in a novel. Perhaps I just wasn't in the mood, or I just wasn't in the right mind-space. I may be able to read a philosophy textbook for fun, but I don't expect to be getting one right in the middle of a space- and time-faring sci-fi adventure story. 


I think I'll stick to Yu's short stories in future, where he covers a lot of the same ground, but doesn't have room to detour and lose me in the twists and turns.