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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
Marty, who is the erstwhile hero of Time Is Irreverent, has been abducted by aliens but, contrary to his initial fears, these are nice aliens. They are here to try to put things right on our planet before the crazy presidential incumbent currently in charge manages to destroy it in a nuclear holocaust. In order to do this, they must change the course of history and they must select a human whose time line would not be affected by the change – one who, in other words, would survive the mission. Marty, who is the human selected for the task, must travel back to the time of Christ and present a different version of the Sermon on the Mount, one designed to deliver a more harmonious history for our race. But time travel is no easy matter, even for aliens with technology far in advance of our own.
Due to his claustrophobia and subsequent panic attack, Marty finds himself catapulted into the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs reigned and must avoid becoming a tasty lunch for the carnivores of the time before being retrieved. A second attempt finds him landing into a future USA at a time when global warming is changing the landscape and Christian Fundamentalism has become entrenched, before a third attempt when he finally makes it to Galilee to try to complete his mission. In between he manages to enjoy a romantic liaison with one of the female alien crew, make camping and picnic visits to most of the planets in the solar system, and spends a good deal of time getting high using the alien ship’s euphoria dispensers. But is Marty capable of successfully completing his critical mission? Can he change the course of human history and, more importantly, can he ensure his beloved rock music is not deleted from the new time line?
Time Is Irreverent by Marty Essen is, on the surface, a light-hearted science fiction romp which plays with a number of themes in a novel way. But there is a serious underlying core to the book which looks at where we are heading and how prejudice and bigotry are gaining ground against tolerance and understanding. ‘Why can’t we just get along and be nice to each other’ is a distressingly common cri de coeur among thinkers and philosophers, and while a man was nailed to a cross just over two thousand years ago for saying the self-same thing, it seems that very little has changed since. Time Is Irreverent is a well-written, well-paced novel peopled with solid, likeable characters. Marty Essen is a talented author who has managed to wrap several complex threads into a light, enjoyable narrative. I hope he will continue writing in the sci-fi genre and I look forward eagerly to his future works.