Tag Archives: time travel

“The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.” by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel

I’ve read four books by Neal Stephenson.

  • Seveneves
  • Anathem
  • Snow Crash
  • Cryptonomicon

All are LONG. I almost bailed out on Cryptonomicon. Too long, too many characters, etc.  (See my blog entry dated September 27, 2017.)

Stephenson benefitted from having a coauthor on this book (or maybe he found a better and more assertive editor, or maybe he just improved). The story had a more comprehensible narrative course. In the middle, the plot began to wander, but the ending was captivating. And “only” 742 pages!

A recurring theme in D.O.D.O. is language. Protagonist Melisande Stokes is a hardworking graduate student in ancient and classical linguistics when she is recruited by a “shadowy government entity” to translate some very, VERY old manuscripts. Everything about her work is “classified”. Soon she is deeply involved with…time travel and witchcraft!

The authors single out academics and government administrators for scathing parody. If you’ve worked in either of those settings, you may enjoy seeing pomposity punctured.

I haven’t read Nicole Galland, but I’m looking forward to checking out her contemporary and historical fiction.



“One Red Thread” by Ernie Wood

This is the second of the fiction-with-a-supernatural-twist novels I promised to review. (See blog entry of July 1, 2015.) Instead of a mere hint of the supernatural, this book goes all out.

The plot is complex, and it took me a long time to read the book. It would be just the thing for a long, rainy weekend at the beach.

Every family has a “past”. But how important is it? How interesting? I grew up with repeated admonitions like “don’t shake the family tree, who knows what will fall off?” Possibly my mother felt our recent immigrant status was not a source of pride. As far as I know, there wasn’t any real “dirt”. If there was, it’s now to late to dig it up. And I don’t care.

Protagonist Eddy McBride had much more in his past to ponder. Why did his father leave? What was wrong with his “fragile” uncle? Why did his childhood friend return?

And Eddy McBride learns, over time, that he can visit the past. He begins to wonder if he can change it. That’s when things get crazy. Life threateningly crazy. Things settle down (after a fashion) when his first child is born. But she also has the “gift” of time travel…

This novel was published by Tyrus Books, a new and relatively small press. I think they made a good choice in publishing Ernie Wood’s first novel.