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IN War Times
 
 

IN War Times [Kindle Edition]

Kathleen Goonan , Thomas Goonan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Sam Dance is a young enlisted soldier in 1941 when his older brother Keenan is killed at Pearl Harbor. Afterwards, Sam promises that he will do anything he can to stop the war.

During his training, Sam begins to show that he has a knack for science and engineering, and he is plucked from the daily grunt work of twenty-mile marches by his superiors to study subjects like code breaking, electronics, and physics in particular, a science that is growing more important to the war effort. While studying, Sam is seduced by a mysterious female physicist that is teaching one of his courses, and given her plans for a device that will end the war, perhaps even end the human predilection for war forever. But the device does something less, and more, than that.

After his training, Sam is sent throughout Europe to solve both theoretical and practical problems for the Allies. He spends his free time playing jazz, and trying to construct the strange device. It's only much later that he discovers that it worked, but in a way that he could have never imagined.

About the Author

Kathleen Ann Goonan burst into prominence with Queen City Jazz, the start of her Nanotech Quartet.  The Bones of Time, her widely acclaimed second novel, was a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2000. Crescent City Rhapsody (third in the Quartet) was a Nebula nominee, while Light Music, the conclusion of the series, was described by Booklist as the "brilliant conclusion to a tetralogy as consequential in sf as Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy."
 
She and her husband divide their time between homes in Tennessee and in the Florida Keys.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1563 KB
  • Print Length: 435 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Kathleen Ann Goonan Books (26 Oct 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G8I3B3G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #706,232 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kathleen Ann Goonan is a writer, critic, and, presently, a Visiting Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, where she teaches Creative Writing and Literature.

Her 2007 novel IN WAR TIMES won the prestigious Campbell Award for Best Novel of 2007. Her first novel, QUEEN CITY JAZZ, was a New York Times Notable Book and a British Science Fiction Award finalist, and her second, THE BONES OF TIME, was an Arthur C. Clarke Award finalist. CRESCENT CITY RHAPSODY and LIGHT MUSIC were Nebula Award finalists.

Well-known for her Nanotech Quartet, Goonan's speaking engagements include appearances at Utopiales in Nantes, Kosmopolis in Barcelona, and at many universities. She has published over forty short stories, some of which are collected in ANGELS AND YOU DOGS, which will be released from PS Publishing in the fall of 2011.

She has this to say about THIS SHARED DREAM:

THIS SHARED DREAM evolved, as do most of my novels, from a variety of currents and influences. Chief among these were Eric Kandel's IN SEARCH OF MEMORY. Kandel, a Nobel laureate, has done extensive research on the biological roots and pathways of memory--how it is created, how it is stored, and how it re-emerges in certain conditions. In his book, his memories of his family's flight from Vienna following Krystallnacht in 1938 are interspersed with his growing appreciation of the mysteries of memory.

But THIS SHARED DREAM is in the main a family saga about lost and unevenly distributed information, and about how differing memories among siblings create their present. It is also about retrieving lost memories, lost parts of the self, and re-integrating them into one's present being.

It is about the nature of time and consciousness, and identity. It is about music, communication, and the potential of children when they have an science-based educational environment that meshes with and enhances their natural developmental.

But mostly it is about the tenacity of love, and the power of love to heal.

Kathleen Ann Goonan can be reached for interviews via kathleen@goonan.com, www.goonan.com, and www.goonan.com/blog.

This Shared Dream website is www.thisshareddream.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 8 April 2013
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful novel novel. It starts with Sam Dance hearing about Pearl Harbor on the radio. He finds out that his brother, serving in the US Navy, was killed there.This sets off the main theme of the novel, a continual rumination on why things happen and how different outcomes would have been better.

Two elements are used to give form to this continual 'why' question. One is a device, which continually changes shape to allow it to blend with the surrounding technology, and the other is music, jazz in particular, which is used to illustrate the ability to create the new by changing elements on the fly.

The device is first given to Sam by Dr. Eliani Handtz, a Hungarian physicist who will pop up again in the novel. Handtz teaches physics, and in her meeting with Sam, introduces him to her own weird synthesis of physics and biology that she believes will lead to a better understanding of human nature, and end the human race's propensity for fratricidal warfare. The device initially resembles the AA gun radar aimer that Sam and his buddy Wink are working on. By the end of the book it has passed through a variety of forms, ending up as part of a board game in the Dance household. Along the way it has also been at crucial foci like Hiroshima and a concentration camp.To add spice, the major Intelligence agencies are also after the device...

This novel sounds rather sad and grim but the jazz motif acts as a liberator of good feelings. Sam and Wink are lucky in getting to see some of the great jazz musicians of the time, although the military police jail them for being in 'off limits' clubs.
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Format:Hardcover
"In War Times" is a great novel of ideas and action, showing why contemporary science fiction may be the most important literary genre of our time, grappling with greater clarity of thought and literary skill, the very nature of human existence, than what one usually discerns from so-called literary mainstream fiction. Katherine Ann Goonan's elegantly sparse prose captures vividly the vicissitudes of love, war, peace, and indeed, of reality itself. She weaves concepts as arcane and as dissimilar as the structure of DNA, the nature of time, and the atomic bomb, into one long elegant literary tribute to jazz, with each new unexpected development, as the tale progresses, emerging like some unexpected jazz riff played with ample conviction by the likes of Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Jazz is the perfect metaphor to describe what the reader observes in this brilliantly conceived, vividly imagined novel; the merging and splitting of alternate realities, of different future histories, as witnessed by compelling characters such as Sam Dance, Bette Elegante, Wink and others, especially enigmatic physicist Dr. Eliani Hadntz, who presents Sam Dance with the plans of a mysterious device destined to alter all of their futures. Goonan explores how time - past, present and future - can be altered by the least likely of events, sending her characters into different alternate realities that differ by the slightest changing of a few details, relatively trivial in nature, with important implications for the respective futures of these realities. Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Novel of Ideas and Action Set in an Alternate Recent Past 31 Jan 2012
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"In War Times" is a great novel of ideas and action, showing why contemporary science fiction may be the most important literary genre of our time, grappling with greater clarity of thought and literary skill, the very nature of human existence, than what one usually discerns from so-called literary mainstream fiction. Kathleen Ann Goonan's elegantly sparse prose captures vividly the vicissitudes of love, war, peace, and indeed, of reality itself. She weaves concepts as arcane and as dissimilar as the structure of DNA, the nature of time, and the atomic bomb, into one long elegant literary tribute to jazz, with each new unexpected development, as the tale progresses, emerging like some unexpected jazz riff played with ample conviction by the likes of Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Jazz is the perfect metaphor to describe what the reader observes in this brilliantly conceived, vividly imagined novel; the merging and splitting of alternate realities, of different future histories, as witnessed by compelling characters such as Sam Dance, Bette Elegante, Wink and others, especially enigmatic physicist Dr. Eliani Hadntz, who presents Sam Dance with the plans of a mysterious device destined to alter all of their futures. Goonan explores how time - past, present and future - can be altered by the least likely of events, sending her characters into different alternate realities that differ by the slightest changing of a few details, relatively trivial in nature, with important implications for the respective futures of these realities. Hers is a novel whose historical settings range from Pearl Harbor to the American crossing of the Rhine near the close of World War II, the Kennedy assassination and the anti-war protests as the United States enters the Vietnam War; it is indeed a novel of grand ambitions which Goonan displays via her ample heartfelt conviction and exceptional literary craft. "In War Times" is certainly one of the most notable contemporary science fiction novels of the 21st Century, and one that should be required reading by mainstream literary audiences.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, touching science fiction 27 Jun 2007
By GadgetGirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Goonan used to do more hard science fiction -- nano- and bio-tech. This is much more alternate history, and damn it, but it's good. Part of it is how well she's researched it (I read a review somewhere that said she used her own father's diary from the war), but a lot of it is how well she integrated what she's learned into the story. It's complex, and rich, and it rewards people who re-read books in a way I haven't seen since Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, thought-provoking, and powerful 19 Sep 2007
By Boccaccio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Every once in a while I come across a novel with characters and images so vivid that they haunt me even when I'm not reading and linger even after I finish the last page.

"In War Times" is that kind of novel.

This is a book that works on many levels--as a science fiction thriller and a beautifully written, metaphysical literary novel. It is also a time travel story and a World War II novel (with wonderful details of the London Blitz, the development of radar, and the Occupation after the war). Sam's quest to complete a working Hadnz device and create a world in which his brother Keenan could still be alive is gripping; scope and urgency grow when he travels to Europe and experiences the horrors of war and genocide, which with the device might be prevented. Of course there's always a price for altering the time stream... this is my favorite kind of novel, the kind that moves me emotionally, but also makes me think.

A brilliant and powerful book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazzing Through Times 16 Aug 2011
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In War Times (2007) is a standalone SF novel. It follows the main character around the world and through time.

In this novel, Sam Dance has almost three year schooling in chemical engineering at the University of Dayton. Sam plays jazz music on the sax. He has an older brother who is serving within the US Navy.

Elani Hadntz is part Magyar Gypsy. She had trained as a physician, but later became a physicist. She has been studying the quantum nature of the brain.

Bette Elegante is a member of the OSS organization. She also knows Hadntz.

Al Winklemeyer is from upstate New York. Wink also plays jazz music on the cornet.

In this story, Sam had tried to volunteer in 1940, but was rejected because of his poor eyesight. A year later, he finds an aspiring recruiter and is accepted into the US Army. He is pulled out of Camp Sutton and sent to Washington, DC, for special training.

The course meets in a hastily erected structure on the roof of a War Department building and covers a range of esoteric subjects. The fourth instructor is Dr. Hadntz, an exile from Budapest.

On December 6, 1941, Hadntz seduces Sam so that she can give him the plans for an exotic device. According to her, the apparatus will promote world peace. It communicates with human brains to change attitudes, but it obviously is not yet perfected. Hadntz also tells him that it is a time machine of sorts.

The next day, Sam spends his time drinking alcohol and listening to the radio reports on Pearl Harbor. His brother Keenan is serving on the Arizona. Eventually, Sam learns that Keenan is entombed within his ship.

Later, two men in black suits interview Sam about his encounter with Hadntz. The seduction diverts security's attention from other aspects of the meeting. Elegante takes notes during the interview.

Then the Army sends Sam to generator school. He quickly learns that the class is really about the M-9 Director. The device incorporates a new radar device feeding a computer and is much more accurate than the M-7 and earlier models.

Sam travels to Britain by ship to set up the new anti-aircraft guns. After some tweaks, the M-9 becomes very effective. It becomes the main defense against V-1 flying bombs.

Sam meets Hadntz again in England. Afterward, Sam returns to the place where Hadntz had taken him and finds it deserted. From her comments, Sam figures that Hadntz had taken him sideways in time.

This tale takes Sam and his unit to France and then Germany. He meets others who have encountered Hadntz. One such person is Elegante, now a Major in the OSS.

This story is based on current thinking about consciousness. Yet it introduces such theory through very early works on DNA, the brain and quantum mechanics. It talks about some very heavy mathematics, but does not show the formulas.

The story also discusses modern jazz. Sam and Wink hang out at jazz clubs and start a jazz band within their unit. Sam thinks of Hadntz's theories in terms of the music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.

Sam also has experiences of traveling sideways in time. He and his mother briefly see his dead brother in their attic. He also encounters Wink after his death in his current timeline.

Highly recommended for Goonan fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of time travel, alternate timelines, and persons of good will. Read and enjoy!

-Arthur W. Jordin
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alternative Realities with a Jazz Soundtrack 29 Jun 2011
By Gregg Eldred - Published on Amazon.com
Sam Dance is an enlisted soldier in 1941 when news comes to him that his older brother, Keenan, was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Keenan was on the Arizona when it was hit; the loss hits Sam pretty hard. While he is going through his training, Sam shows an affinity for science and engineering, so the Army pulls him out of the normal training routine and places him in classes on code breaking, electronics, and physics. He isn't really sure about physics but it seems to come him easily, which surprises him. Seduced by an enigmatic female physicist after a particularly interesting/strange physics session, he is given her plans for a device that she says will end war. Not only that, but through DNA, it may change the human "gene" for war, ending it at a biological level.

Following his training, he is sent to Europe to resolve theoretical and practical problems for the Allies. One stop is England, where he helps to resolve targeting issues with air defense systems. As the Allies make headway in Europe, Sam and his company move forward with the Army. As the war in Europe winds down, he is sent to the Pacific, where he finds himself on the Enola Gay.

In his free time, he and the other members of his company play jazz. Sam and his best friend, Wink, prefer the more modern type, known as be-bop, but they will play any variety of jazz. It is in jazz that he and Wink make great strides with the design for the mysterious device. It takes more than a year, but they are able to build the device and start it. However, something happens, which hard to determine exactly what, and then the device melts into a solid block of metal.

Later, Sam is able to determine that the device did work. He, and the others exposed to its power, are able to move among different versions of reality and also back in time. It is this knowledge, and improvements to the device, that could change history.

In War Times, by Kathleen Ann Goonan, is one of the more unique science fiction novels I've read. The characters are well defined, the dialog believable, and the scenes are based on historical fact. The plot moves slowly, building toward an excellent climax, which uses more historical references but in a science fiction bent. Readers looking for action should look elsewhere. Readers looking for a thoughtful, engaging novel, will be very pleased with In War Times. Much like the music that drives Sam Dance and his Army buddies, it flows extremely well. While we have a basic understanding of the device, it's purpose doesn't become clear until the last third of the novel. The buildup to this recognition is carefully paced, which adds to the overall feel of the novel. From there, the story moves at a much faster pace, ending at a well known place and time in US history. It is a very fulfilling climax. The connection between jazz and the device is fascinating, engrossing; In War Times is a compelling read. I must thank my local library for recommending this novel to me, it was a great choice in a genre I very rarely read by an excellent author.

Disclosure:
Obtained from: Library
Payment: Borrowed
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