You know the future that people in the fifties imagined we’d have? Flying cars, food pills and moon bases? Well, it happened. And it’s just as great as we hoped it would be.
Except, in this world, a series of heartbreaks leaves Tom alone. So he hijacks his father’s time machine, and goes back to where it all began – the moment when the world as we know it, and the world as Tom lives it, parted ways, due to a ground-breaking experiment. Only, thanks to Tom’s accidental intrusion, the experiment fails and he returns ‘home’ to find his world erased and replaced with our own 2016 – by comparison, a chaotic mess.
In our world, however, Tom discovers vastly improved versions of his family, his career, and – best of all – his soulmate, Penny. So. Should he fix the flow of history, bringing back into existence his old utopian reality, or to try to forge a new life in our messy one?
In One Line
A funny time-travel romp all about consequences.
Reviews From Around the Web
Debut novelist Elan Mastai’s All Our Wrong Todays begins in an alternate present that feels very much like the future, thanks to an invention created on July 11, 1965, by the scientist Lionel Goettreider. His Engine somehow harnesses the rotation of the Earth to produce “unlimited, robust, absolutely clean energy.” For Tom Barren, then, the most wildly optimistic dreams of 1950s pulp science fiction authors have been realized, and the “future” bears more than a passing resemblance to The Jetsons.
Which is not to say that Barren’s life is perfect. Haunted by the death of his mother in a freak hovercar accident, Barren becomes a chrononaut for his father’s experiments in time travel. The plan is to go back and witness the unveiling of the first Goettreider Engine. But through a tragic sequence of events, Barren finds himself accidentally disrupting the crucial test and preventing his own reality from ever being born. Barren is pulled back to the present–our present–which to his eyes resembles nothing less than a dystopia: “I’m in the same world you’re in…. Dull, vapid, charmless, barely evolved from the 1965 I just left.”
Mastai is clever and self-aware in how he mines Barren’s outsider status for humor. All Our Wrong Todays, like Andy Weir’s The Martian, manages to respect the reader’s intelligence without overwhelming with scientific mumbo-jumbo. The humor helps–Barren’s terrible mistake is followed by an entire chapter of a repeated four-letter word–as do the multiple love stories that form the heart and soul of the novel. It is a very human story about a chronic screw-up finding his place in a screwed-up world.
–Hank Stephenson, bookseller, Flyleaf Books
“Entertainingly mixes thrills and humor.”
“[An] amazing debut novel… Dazzling and complex… Fearlessly funny storytelling.”
“Instantly engaging… 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.”