Time Travel Hotel is a satirical sci-fi novel published by Burning Eye in April 2015. When I say satirical though I mean I use Sci-fi and satire as a way of exploring certain other ideas – I do not satirise Sci-fi. Too big a fan for that!
It is an exercise in accessible experimentation so on the one hand it is experimental. I fold several interwoven stories together and throw in a couple of dada hand brake plots turns but all the while writing with one eye on the rules of Elmore Leonard. Hopefully the end results is part art-experiment-pretension but always a zippy easy read. Dada plot experiment meets delinquent pulp fiction? Yeah. That’s what I was aiming for.
It is kind of 18+ though, I should warn prospective readers. It contains some bad sex. Not badly written (I hope) but bad as in failed, disastrous, embarrassing, cringe-worthy, clumsy and hopefully amusing. One Goodreads reviewer did decide that if you are easily shocked you should avoid Time Travel Hotel. Yeah – that was what I was aiming for.
There are some serious undercurrents. I explore the 21st Century’s obsession with immigration and outsiders, how the same situation has different repercussions depending on race, gender, species, planet of origin.
It is also a novel that wears its influences on its sleeve and a canny reader will find nods, winks, and references to Herodotus, Catch 22, Kurt Vonnegut, Waiting for Godot, The Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch, Star Wars, the 15th Century Hungarian king Mattias Corvinus, The Wasteland, The Simpsons, Liutprand of Cremona – historian of Otto the Great and Hong Kong Phooey.
What is it about? Try this:
Occupied during an Anarchist riot, Battersea Power Station flicks out of existence and returns as the technologically ambiguous INTERFOLD – THE TIME TRAVEL HOTEL REPUBLIC, complete with a reputation for spontaneously relocation.
Black McCarthy, a detective, is sent to INTERFOLD by his client The Wolf in search of a man who may or may not be hiding under the name of Eugenides.
The Man Who Lived In A Vacuum Cleaner has shrunk to a few centimetres tall and become the subject of an Martian sex-periment to re-inflate him.
The Girl With Nine Lives has stopped counting.
The Dwarf With The Horse has migrated into INTERFOLD territory by mistake and finds himself in trouble with Eunuch policemen.
With Martians, Assassins, Bristolians and A Man Who Falls Through Floors, there are no shortage of characters willing to aide or hinder Black in his search. The problem is that he is not the only one who wants Eugenides found, and time is not only against him but is disregarding all the usual rules.
Think Hitchhikers, Catch 22, Sombrero Fall Out, Breakfast Of Champions, The Adventures of Tintin, an episode of Hong Kong Phooey, A splash of Monty Phython and The Wasteland put in a blender and wizzed up into the best of Elmore Leonard and tell me if I am close!