I’m a huge fan of time travel-themed science fiction. Neal Stephenson, along with his co-author Nicole Galland, nailed the time travel sub-genre perfectly in this magical and witty novel.
Using an unconventional and engaging literary style, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. follows a primarily first-person retelling of how a hopeless and unlikely trio birthed an idea of time travel by magic into a complex black ops government entity. The story unfolds through a collection of historical letters, modern-day instant messages and personal journals that span a thousand years through multiple threads of history and across continents.
The story features a type of time travel that is grounded in physics with a magical twist. In order for the long-forgotten time travel magical spells to work, they must be conducted in a space that cannot be observed or recorded. The quantum mechanics thought experiment known as Schrodinger’s Cat is the basis for developing an environment in which magic can once again be used by witches.
Without spoiling too much of the story, I’ll simply say that the results of this diachronic operation had history-altering consequences, some of which were intended.
If you enjoy time travel science fiction, you’ll enjoy The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. And, check back here soon for a review of the sequel Master of the Revels, written by Nicole Galland, which picks up where D.O.D.O. ends.