This is not simply a science fiction novel. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe exists within the meme and metaphor of speculative fiction, but should not be confused with a parable of time travel. Charles Yu’s novel is meta-fiction, and in some ways closer in spirit to Barth, Calvino, Coover and Borges than to a genre-straddling novel from Junot Diaz. The narrator is author Charles Yu, time machine technician. He is a man living a universe where, given the limitless possibilities of time-places to visit, the first place people inevitably choose to go is their own very worst experience. Using humor, physics and literary word play, Yu embarks upon a sorrowing adventure about how people dwell on the past and fail to appreciate the present.
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