BEAT to a PULP: A Rip Through Time edited by David Cranmer

Usually on a collection of stories like this I’d try and break it down in to the different stories. I can’t really do that on this book though. Partly because because up until the final part (I’ll talk about that later) it is a single story, but mainly because every time the chapter end heralded a change in writer I’d kept reading and not realised there was a change in writer for a couple of pages. The story flows very well from one section to the next. At least until the end of the story. The final part is very confusing. I had to stop reading several times and go back a page to work out what is being said by/to which characters. I get it now though. Once you finish the story there is a non-fiction piece about time travelling machine in film and fiction. In this it talks about the difficulties of having two versions of the same person from two different times or realities inhabiting the same nexus point. This is to my mind why the final part of the story is so confusing. You’ll notice I didn’t use the word end.  That was deliberate. If you are the type of person who needs total closure at the end of the book, then you may struggle with this story.

The story is about time travel through devices that are worn on the wrist by agents of a technology company. I don’t want to talk about who are the heroes and villains because that will take some of the fun out of it. Needless to say there are some interesting characters and a shadowy conspiracy to add some colour. I particularly liked the way that Simon Rip had an almost obsessive stalker thing going on with Ernest Hemingway. This made me chuckle a lot as I could imagine myself doing similar things to my my heroes in the past. The non-fiction part at the end was an added bonus and added context and colour to the book as a product. I like little extras that are not directly part of the story.

As with other BEAT to a PULP books this one is pared down to a simple and fast flowing character driven story that lets you fill in a lot of the blanks with your own imagination. The final chapter was not as flowing as I’d have liked for the reasons stated above, but overall I enjoyed this book and will almost certainly pickup the next BEAT to a PULP book.

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