Review: Version Control by Dexter Palmer

Spoiler Alert: This review contains some spoilers.

Wow. I don’t get to read books as good as Version Control very often. I mean, I should probably preface this review by saying that I don’t think every fan of science fiction or time travel stories will enjoy this book. This is because even though this novel has clear science fiction elements, it often feels more like a contemporary or literary novel than a science fiction one. It is supremely character driven and the plot (although very good) takes a back seat. There are various digressions into the thoughts and lives of characters who aren’t particularly important to the overall story. There are discussions about philosophy, religion, and race. There are numerous ruminations on the dating habits of millennials. All of this is really well done and fascinating, but if your idea of a good science fiction novel is a tightly plotted, action-packed type of affair, then this book may not be for you.

All that said, I absolutely loved Version Control. The book centers on a rather ordinary-seeming millennial woman named Rebecca Wright. The novel is initially split between chapters in which she is a young woman dealing with unemployment and trying to decide whether she should marry a dude she met on a dating site and chapters in which she is middle-aged and dealing with the loss of a child and a crumbling marriage. This sounds like the description for a literary novel, right? So where does the science fiction come in? Well, Rebecca’s husband Phillip leads a team of physicists in attempting to build a time machine (which they all insist on calling a “causality violation device”). Continue reading “Review: Version Control by Dexter Palmer”